Lead by Example: What it’s Like to Work for Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co.
This summer, I received the opportunity to intern at JPM in Chicago. During our intern programming, we had the chance to interact and network with senior leaders across the firm, with a special Q&A session from Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPM. While Jamie is both praised and ridiculed in the news media for his leadership style and business decisions, I am proud to say I worked under his leadership. As the CEO of the largest bank by assets in the United States, he holds one of the toughest and most stressful positions in the world. I admire Jamie because he exemplifies grit, candor, curiosity and intelligence. During the senior speaker series this summer, one statement he said stuck with me. He stated, “We must never get comfortable with success. There is always room for growth.” As a leader, he is both humble and proud about the direction of JPMorgan Chase. I not only admire his humility, but his ability to communicate directly and honestly about the things he values for the company. He makes it quite clear that as a bank, we must deliver the best solutions for our customers, because when we provide value to customers, we are making the world a better place through technology and financial services. Likewise, his dedication to his personal growth and his employees is something I strive to achieve as a leader in business. Jamie even stated that he spends an hour every morning reading leadership books and watching the news for recent articles on JPMorgan and its competitors. According to a recent article from CNBC, he states that “everything we do is for human beings.” Dimon expresses that to be a great boss, you must measure results, focus on outcomes, make careful decisions, listen carefully, and trust your team. For a 256,000-employee firm, it is incredible these values still hold true. During every team meeting, I saw these values exemplified by every associate from both junior and senior levels.
Before working for the bank, I expected the culture to be cut-throat, rigid, and bureaucratic. By leading through Dimon’s example, I saw a company full of innovation, nimbleness, and a drive to succeed without leaving employees behind. In 2019 specifically, he has placed his attention on the future of fintech and how our services can leave both a national and international footprint. In 2018 alone, JPM invested $11B on technology and committed $15M to improving city infrastructure like Detroit, Chicago, and Miami. During his Q&A session, he touched on the importance of staying on top of trends like cryptocurrency, cloud computing, and APIs so we can provide customers with world-class services during a time of rapid technological advancement across the globe. While I don’t strive to run an international firm like Dimon, I hope I can capture the commitment he has to serving others through financial decision-making.
In his letter to shareholders, Dimon also demonstrates his commitment to diversity and inclusion. Not only is he proud that 50% of the senior leadership team are women, but also, he encourages engagement/inclusion from minorities through many avenues such as JPM’s business resource groups, Women on the Move Initiative, and increases in wages and incentives for lower tier employees. While Dimon showcases JPM’s industry leading success in his letter, he never becomes too comfortable with it. Dimon remains level-headed during times of market highs and lows, and I admire his ability to stay calm during times of political and economic unrest. In his letter to shareholders, Dimon even reflects on the mistakes and lessons learned from the financial crisis from 2008, and how the firm must constantly recognize their place in the market so they can position themselves for future recessions and market downturns. Dimon showcases what it takes to be a successful senior business leader in the 21stcentury, and I hope one day I can utilize his admirable leadership traits and apply them to both my personal and professional life.