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Harry Harrison Interviewed On IdeaMensch


Harry Harrison, former head of Barclays Non-Core in London, was interviewed for IdeaMensch (a well-regarded interview platform that focuses on “entrepreneurs, makers and doers”, according to the site) with that interview debuting on on September 26th. In the interview, Harry describes his origins as a student of economics for A-level and then as his college major at the University of Warwick. Having then gone on to finance graduate work at Cambridge, Harry found it difficult to imagine a career for himself in anything else. He went on to lead Barclays Non-Core in London for three years as part of his 20+ years association with Barclays.

He explains what a typical day in his life is currently, in that there is not one. Now that he has taken a break from finance after leading Barclays effort to wind down $110 billion worth of businesses, Harry has taken great pleasure from being a stay-at-home dad to his children, ages 5 and 8. He spends a lot of time with entrepreneurs, but also admits that the entrepreneur he now sees the most is his wife, happily by her side in support of her projects.

Harry goes on to explain what brings his ideas to life and reveals that “nothing can beat the combination of diversity, humility, and collaboration.” He also realizes that some big ideas are so outside the norm that one bank cannot handle all the weight and that he and his colleagues have on occasion fallen short in this regard. Unusually, he admits that he prefers to tackle things as they come up, foregoing lengthy to-do lists.

If he could give advice to his younger self, Mr. Harrison wishes he could tell him to “enjoy the journey”. He says that he has been extremely goal-oriented throughout his life, often forgetting to really enjoy the process on the way to the destination.

Other interesting moments include extolling the benefits of yoga, Harry revealing his one failure as an entrepreneur, the best $100 he recently spent, and his love for The Little Engine That Could.

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