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027: Parrish Arturi: It was a humbling experience

Parrish Arturi Show Notes

Parrish Arturi was not always calm, cool, and collected. Once while leading a project team for a new product the funding for it was removed. Parrish was very passionate about the work his team was doing and took the news of the project cut personally. Parrish lost his cool and then learned a valuable lesson. Listen to Parrish as he tell his story and what he learned on how to get over the hump.

Parrish was born in a Connecticut suburb just outside of New York. He was the fifth of six kids with names that all began with the letter “P”. His mother was a nurse and his father was a doctor and as a young child he could remember Sunday dinners and his grandparents’ house where the entire family would meet. His strong sense of family and caring for others has guided him to a successful career.

Parrish is currently the Senior Vice President for Service, Operations and Technology for Fidelity Personal Investing (PI), a unit of Fidelity Investments. In this role, Parrish and his team are focused on the strategy and development of an industry-leading service, operating in technology platform that enables Fidelity’s retail network to deliver outstanding experiences that drive business growth, customer engagement, scale and competitive differentiation.

Prior to this role, Parrish served as the SVP, Customer Experience, where he led the development and execution of Fidelity’s award-winning programs and capabilities tried customer loyalty and satisfaction in support of Fidelity’s vision of delivering the best customer experience in financial services. From 2004 2009, Paris served as SVP, Digital and Mobile channels. His responsibilities included digital strategy, experience and management of PWI’s online, mobile and social channels, including Fidelity’s primary consumer web destinations (, and and mobile applications. Parrish was responsible for the delivery and execution against channel sales and service goals, as well as ensuring competitive leadership of Fidelity’s consumer digital offerings.

Prior to joining Fidelity in 2004, Parrish work for Wachovia. He was responsible for leading and building various areas of the e-commerce division, including online banking, brokerage and bill payment, online marketing, business development and interactive design. Previously he worked as a Managing Director at Signet bank, developing Signet’s information-based strategy, including the launch of one of the nation’s first Internet banking offerings. Parrish began his career at CUC International, where he served as a product manager in the new products division and as a marketing manager for affinity card products.

Parrish holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Wake Forest University and a MBA from Wake Forest University’s Babcock Graduate School of Management. Parrish currently serves as the vice chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association, the international nonprofit organization created to guide enhanced the growing field of customer experience management.

Parrish currently resides in Boston, MA with his wife and three kids.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen and @parturi will help you get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“I’ve been successful because of the relationships I’ve been able to build.” -Parrish Arturi Click to Tweet

“The passion inside of me may not always be visible.” -Parrish Arturi Click to Tweet

“When there are good times enjoy them and relish them for what they are.” -Parrish Arturi Click to Tweet

“In challenging times you’re going to find the most insights and learning about you.” -Parrish Arturi Click to Tweet

“You don’t always know everything, there are other perspectives you’ll want.” -Parrish Arturi Click to Tweet

“Self-reflection is a really important characteristic for us to have.” -Parrish Arturi Click to Tweet

“One of the greatest thrills I get is when I see someone who had been on my team progress.” -Parrish Arturi Click to Tweet

“Treat your team how you’d want to be treated yourself.” -Parrish Arturi Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Parrish Arturi was not always calm, cool, and collected. Once while leading a project team for a new product the funding for it was removed. Parrish was very passionate about the work his team was doing and took the news of the project cut personally. Parrish lost his cool and then learned a valuable lesson. Listen to Parrish as he tell his story and what he learned so you can move onward and upward faster.

Advice for others

Self-reflection is a really important characteristic for us to have in business and in our families.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Keeping balance between being open to test new things and letting your past experiences dictate your perspectives on things.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Use the Golden Rule.  It sounds simple but it’s applicable in everything you do.

Secret to Success

Building relationships and working with people across diverse groups.

Best Resources in business or Life

Mentors and people in the community. But my most important resource is my wife.

Recommended Reading

Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less

Contacting Parrish




More Resources

54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

027: Parrish Arturi: It was a humbling experience


Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we uncover the leadership like hat that help you to experience, break out performance faster and rocket to success. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.


Jim Rembach:     Thanks Kimberly. Okay Fast Leader legion you get the opportunity to have redemption with me today because I have a guest today that I had the opportunity to interview previously but the audio just came out so bad that he gracefully agreed to do this interview again. So, Parrish Arturi, thank you very much. 


Parrish was born in the Connecticut suburb just outside of New York. One of six kids that names all began with the P. Son of a doctor and nurse, caring person—glad to have him on the show. Parrish is currently the Senior Vice President of Services, Operations and Technology for Fidelity Personal investments, which is a unit of Fidelity Investments. In this role Parrish and his team are focused on the strategy and development of an industry-leading service operating in technology platform that enables Fidelity’s retail network to deliver outstanding experiences that drive business growth, customer engagement, scale and competitive differentiation.


Parrish like my wife is an alumni of Wake Forest University where he received both his undergrad and his MBA and he currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association which is an international nonprofit organization created to guide and enhance the growing field of customer experience management. Parrish currently resides in the Boston area with his wife and three kids and they currently just got back from a fantastic vacation in Europe. Parrish has a strong family roots in both Ireland and Italy. Parrish Arturi, are you ready to get us over the hump?


Parrish Arturi:     Absolutely and I’m thrilled to be with you again, Jim. 


Thank you very much. Now, I’ve given our listeners a little bit of information about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you better?


Parrish Arturi:     Sure. My current passion and really that passion has been over the last several years and my career has been around helping people inspire better features, helping people to better—in terms of their financial life and in terms of personal life as well.


Jim Rembach:     When you say that something that is really a passion for you, where does that really come from?


Parrish Arturi:     Where it come from is—all the way back prior to my upbringing which is about help to make the world a better place. I think about my parents and what their focus on caring for people, helping the people they served get to a better place with their health. And I think about how we’re doing that and how I’ve really been passionate about that when I got into financial services and then now that I became a leader it was also about helping the people that were part of my team, help them become better and leave a legacy. 


Jim Rembach:     Now, you’re talking about legacy and you’re talking about caring things like that, you had shared with me that oftentimes as far as a childhood memories is concern, you knew those Sunday dinners grandparents that were first-generation immigrants, what impact do you think it had on where you are today? 


Parrish Arturi:     I think it had a tremendous impact in terms of the time that we would spend together as a family and in terms of time that I would see my parents or my grandparents bringing people together, working hard and that’s where a lot of the value is created was in the personal interactions and our relationships. I thrive in this relationships, I like to think that one of the reasons that I was able to be successful in some part in my career because the relationships I’ve been able to build. 


Jim Rembach:    You are one of those folks that when I see just the way that you interact with others, the way that you carry yourself using just so collected and reserved—and when you start talking about that passion and that inspiration piece, sometimes when you look at somebody who is a reserved like you, where is the passion, where’s the drive? And so, at the Fast Leader show we focus in on quotes and things like that that kind of help us really get that drive. I mean, do you have some of that internal passion that you keep bottled up that comes from some of those quotes, can you share it?


Parrish Arturi:    Yeah. Absolutely. The passion inside of me may not be always visible, they’re maybe a fire burning inside, but it’s cool, calm and collected outside. And again that’s certainly not always the case but I pride myself on one to model the right behavior, the behavior that I would expect from others. And that passion comes from prior to what I observed and what I experienced in the family, may even be a birth order thing. Quite honestly, [4:45 inaudible] a fifth out of six, there’s a lot of activity going around me. And it was always a lot easier to observe and then react versus be the one out front all the time. 


Jim Rembach:    What are some of those quotes or passages that drives you?


Parrish Arturi:     Some of the quotes—there are a couple of them. One that I always think about is one from Martin Luther King that I find particularly poignant. It’s about, the content of a man’s character is not defined in times of comfort and convenience but were someone stands in times of challenge and controversy. And so for me, over the years from a business perspective as I’ve experiences those different times, everybody has ups and downs and ebbs and flows. When there are good times enjoy them and relish them for what they are and then in challenging times where you’re challenged most is probably where you’re going to find the most insights, the most learnings about you and about what you can do to take forward and how you can help others.


Jim Rembach:     For me, even when you talk about that quote and why it means so much to you, I think it goes back to what I had mentioned before as regards to being that reserve person but yet has that inner drive and passion. I mean, it’s really interesting to me how that quote is so congruent with the way that you behave but there are times when we do lose it, you mentioned it’s not always calm and collected. And we talk about getting over those humps on the Fast Leader show, can you remember a time where you’ve had a hump to get over where you kind of—“I had to go through that, I had to go through that learning in order to learn how to be more reserved and collected for the future.”


Parrish Arturi:     Sure, sure. I think it was about having self-awareness and insight. So, that’s part of the journey, part of the leadership journey overtime. There’s one particular time that I can remember, it was a hump and it was back when I leading new products and services, a digital products and services back in the late 90’s early 2000, when we’re just starting to test out capabilities with the Palm Pilot, [6:57 inaudible] remembers what this are, we had enabled banking, electronic banking on a Palm Pilot. I was very passionate about it and I knew that notion of mobility and wireless was going to be important, obviously it took several years for it to play out. But the product and the application that we had created—it was a tough time at the bank that I was working in, they wanted to reduce the funding and eliminate the product that we’re working on and I took that very personally. I also had run with the person that I was working, who I respected tremendously and she had a lot of experience and she’d always say, “You know, you don’t get it. You’re not the one making the decisions other people have a perspective on this.” And it was quite humbling for me but it also made me reflect that the way that I was reacting to it had a direct influence on the perception that other people had for me in terms of the level of maturity and how they may think about me and other roles that maybe available. 


That was a really important moment from me, just kind of crystallize that. You don’t always know everything. Even though when you’re younger that you –as a freshly man with MBA you might think that you know everything but you don’t, there’s a lot of other perspectives that you want to take in both next year and then around you that will help you become a better person.


Jim Rembach:    A couple things that stood out to me that you referred to and you talked about youth and that was many years ago, oftentimes those things do come back on us and luckily because we had that life experience oftentimes we can correct ourselves much faster than we would going to that original experience, but if you think about a piece of advice that you would give to her listeners from that story and that experience, what would it be?


Parrish Arturi:    The big piece for me is having self-reflection. So, whether it’s reflection in the moment or afterwards and also having—I also had the benefit of having a great leader who is willing to provide that feedback to me. And that, when you’re able to reflect, self-reflection is a really important characteristic fresh to have either as leader—as business leaders or as people with families or relationships that we want to make ourselves better or want to make the others around us better. 

Jim Rembach:    So, you had mentioned something about—since lower in the birth order and have the opportunity to observe before you stepped out, but oftentimes we don’t have that coach also that you referred to. I had this conversation with somebody a little while back saying, “ You know what, there’s just not a whole lot of that that goes on much more anymore.” And there could be a lot of reasons for that. It could be the overburden task related workplace that we live in that you can’t focus on, “I ain’t got time to focus on somebody else, I need to get this done.” 


So, therefore, we have to learn how to do more that self-reflection instead of relying for somebody else to point things out to us. Is there something that you do to help you be more self –reflective?


Parrish Arturi:    There is. Even on an annual basis for example, I was thinking about setting goals for the year both personal and professional. What we’re planning on doing for the year as a team and part of that process is reflecting back on the past year, think about moments, projects, initiatives where you can derive some insight from. So, I think that’s just kind of built in to my DNA now, I learned that as a learned trait from another leader that I work for and that’s part of how I think about doing that. And I also think about either family or teams that I work with, I think we’ve just build that into the dialogue or conversation and it started to become much more natural.


Jim Rembach:    That’s a very great point. First of all to have it as part of your framework and to practice it. You can’t just expect that it’s just going to happen, it’s something that you have to work at. For me too certain things that you’re talking about—the first couple of time where I’ve done it, not so good, right? But you have to be persistent, you have to keep going on.  But if you think about where you are right now and your current passions and the things that are giving you that excitement, what would it be?


Parrish Arturi:    What excites me most, Jim are two things: One, when we think about the customers that we serve at Fidelity and the difference that we can make in their lives with their futures, whether it’s with their children, whether it’s the retirement, help in their goals and dreams to become true, that’s really compelling and important. And I find I’m very passionate about that and the work that we do in helping our customers get to a better place, I find very inspiring. The second thing that was going to talk about would also be when I see that in teams or people that had been on my team. And one of the greatest thrills I get is when I see someone who’d been on my team advance and progress, I get a tremendous amount of fulfillment from seeing the growth of someone’s career that may had been on my teen. 


Jim Rembach:    And that’s other a thing that is scary for a lot of leaders. When you start thinking about having somebody who has the talents and the skills that may even surpass ours, I think for my perspective I want to be part of that development, but not everybody’s there. So, how do you feel about that? How do you get past that hump?


Parrish Arturi:    I think there’s a certain amount of insecurity and some might feel if they have that, I think it’s natural. But I also again, reflect on my career and there are people that helped bring me along it wasn’t always a seasoned professional that I have today, and others help bring me along so I feel that is like paying it back as well as know someone else model the right behavior that I aspire to be the same type of leader, same great leadership principles that they applied. 


Jim Rembach:    You had mentioned something about that planning process and that reflection process, typically folks when they do that they also have a goal setting process, what is one goal that’s important to you right now? 


Parrish Arturi: Our goal  for this year, the one and the next couple of years has been around transforming the service experience for our customers and our retail branch network. And so how that manifests itself are in a couple different ways, but it’s about service quality and it’s also about the experience that gets delivered inside our [14:14 inaudible] centers. And so, our goal for this year we have measures around, we instituted what we call quality review process, and so our goal is to improve our scores and the quality reprocessed by 20%, so, that’s like one very specific goal. We stop broader and then we narrow them down and time box them and think about what specific measures associated with them. 


Jim Rembach:    The Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Alright, here we go listeners, it’s time for the,   Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Parrish, the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So, I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Parrish Arturi, are you ready to hoedown?


Parrish Arturi:    Absolutely, you got it. 


Jim Rembach:    Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?


Parrish Arturi:    Good question. For me it’s keeping balance between being open to do new things, to test new things—our environment is changing so rapidly in terms of the innovations, and balancing that with letting your past experiences dictate your perspectives on things. 


Jim Rembach:    What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?


Parrish Arturi:    Best leadership advice that I had ever received was, use the golden rule, so, that’s treat people how you want to be treated yourself. It sounds so simplistic but it’s applicable to everything that you do. So, if you think about in terms of leadership, treat your team how you would want to be treated yourself, as you’re part of a team. Would you want to understand what’s our shared vision is? Would you want know what your goals and objects are? What you want to get feedback and coaching? Absolutely. So, if you think about things along those lines and apply the Golden rule to your professional or your personal life you’re going to end up in a great place. 


Jim Rembach:     What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?


Parrish Arturi:    If I reflect over my career it’s really been building relationships. Building relationships engaging people across diverse skill sets to achieve a common goal, a common outcome and a purpose. Whether it’s in financial services or it was in marketing is to bring people together across diverse groups and building those relationships.


Jim Rembach:    What do you feel is one of your best resources that helps you lead in business or life?


Parrish Arturi:    That resources are the mentor that I have on business perspective, they’re also the people that I have in the community for example at Customers and Experience Professional Association has been tremendously helpful in terms of resources that we have. And then my pride and most important resource is my wife who provides me a ton of feedback and helps and supports in all of the work that we do. 


Jim Rembach:    What would be one book that you would recommend to our listeners?


Parrish Arturi:    One that’s on the top of my mind is, “Scaling up Excellence” I just read it, it by Huggy Rao and it’s basically how do you take concepts, and it’s particularly relevant with what we do in our customer experience. How do you take those bright spots and how do you think about scaling them across a very broad network. So, it’s particularly relevant to people that work in large organizations and how you create and sustain excellence on ongoing basis.


Jim Rembach:    Alright  Fast Leader listeners, you can find the link to that book and other bonus information from today’s show by going to Arturi. Okay, Parrish this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you are given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you have been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have back with you but you can’t take everything you can only choose one thing, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you? And why?


Parrish Arturi:    The skill and knowledge would be the ability to look at trends and to be able to engage in them faster. So, if I think about all over the years whether it’s been in financial services during the digital age it’s being able to look for trends and act on them quicker.


I could use that from a stock investment perspective too. [Laugh] 


You’re not the only one. 


Parrish, it was an honor to spend time with you today. Can you please share with Fast Leader listeners how they can connect with you?

They could connect with me electronically via email at They can connect to me on Twitter@parturi and also on LinkedIn.


Jim Rembach:     Parrish Arturi thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader legion  honors you and thank you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot!


Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the so we can help you move onward and upward faster.