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Arnold L. Greene

Arnold L. Greene had aspirations to become an entertainment lawyer but luckily for Northern Trust, he switched his major to Human Resources after one labor law course and never looked back. The recently hired head of North America HR Consulting recently discussed the role of HR, his first impressions of Northern Trust, strategic focus advice to new partners and who inspires him.

The Role of HR

The best part of this role is that I get to engage people and help every day. Our job is to enable individuals as they navigate their career, transitions in their journey and, of course, enable the organization collectively through people while aligning with business priorities. “When we take care of our partners, they take care of the clients, and we get better business performance,” he says.

Northern Trust’s Culture

The spirit of collaboration sets us apart. I’ve already met with most of the company’s senior leaders and they were all very open and available. It’s refreshing that you can have dialogue with, and learn from, anyone regardless of role. Even smaller companies don’t always have that feel.

Strategic Focus

Enhancing the partner experience is a phenomenal goal. Our people are a crucial asset. We need to look at how we’re taking care of our partners. Evolving what that looks like is critical for us as an organization because the reality is that people change. With the pandemic, we’ve gone through a trying time that none of us could have anticipated. How we hear what our partners’ needs and desires are is incredibly important.

Advice to New Partners

This is a marathon, not a sprint. Take the first 60, 90 days to really listen, learn and understand the business. Build relationships. Understand who does what here, who is responsible for XYZ decisions and key influencers.

I’ll also share advice that Chief Financial Officer Jason Tyler shared with me: “Dive in!” Combine the theoretical, educational experience with your professional work experience. Bring what you've learned elsewhere into the Northern model.

Leadership Style

Every partner brings value to the table regardless of tenure and experience. I’ve been doing a lot of coaching and weekly one-on-one meetings with my team to find out what they need from me. My job is to coach, block and tackle.

To get great results you need to be comfortable being uncomfortable. No one has gotten it right 100 percent of the time. We must leverage the wonderful minds and diversity of thought we have here, and know that there isn’t just one right answer. My job is to present the end goal to my team and say let’s figure out how to get there. There may already be a good way but maybe we can create a great way.

Agnes Greene, my mother, always said, “You don’t have to be the best; but always do your best and that can lead to you being the best.” If we all do our best in whatever role we have here at Northern, that gives us a great opportunity to be the best!



Hometown: New York City

Current location: Chicago

Currently reading: “None of Us Is As Good As All Of Us” by Patricia Sowell Harris

Podcast recommendation: Cannonball Mindset by Chad Sanschagrin (editor’s note: Arnold was featured on episode 36, “From Queens to Cornell to a Servant’s Heart: How Arnold Greene is Living His Legacy”)

Favorite sports team: Dallas Cowboys

Comfort food: Sushi

Ideal dinner companion: Bishop T.D. Jakes for Ideal Dinner Companion

Best meeting icebreaker: “2 Truths and a Lie”

New hobby since the pandemic: Bike riding

Passionate about: Mentoring young men of color.