NMP - April 2017 - 78

special focus on LEADERSHIP

a special focus on LEADERSHIP

Our Future Leaders and
Character-Driven
Leadership By Rear Admiral Tom Lynch, USN (Ret.)
he mortgage
industry-past and
present-has its
share of great
leaders. Some have
changed and even
revolutionized the home
financing business. Others,
though perhaps less well known,
lead teams and propel their
organizations to success. These
individuals deserve our
recognition and appreciation.
Yet, when mortgage industry
leadership is the topic, I
immediately think about the
future and the next generation of
mortgage professionals. Helping
to develop talented, smart and
eager men and women to
become future leaders of our
industry is truly a passion for me.
This passion, combined with
my enduring belief in the
American Dream of
homeownership, is what led me
to take on a senior executive
leadership role in the mortgage
industry. I was eager to share my
perspective on leadership, which
is based on my 31-year career in
the United States Navy, as well
as more than a decade as an
advisor in private-equity, venture
capital and commercial real
estate.

T

APRIL 2017 n National Mortgage Professional Magazine n

NationalMortgageProfessional.com

78

Developing character-driven
leaders through training and
education
Our future leaders are those who
will keep the ship afloat, no
matter what the ever-changing
business environment sends our
way. That is why I believe that
education and training is
imperative.
We have an obligation to make
sure the next generation of
mortgage professionals has the
requisite mortgage skills and
knowledge. More important, we
must ensure that future leaders
do the right thing, at the right
time, and in the right way-and
inspire others to follow the same
course. This is the essence of
character-driven leadership.
We often hear the phrase,
"natural born leader." It has a
nice ring. But character-driven
leaders are not born; they are
developed. And developing
character-driven leaders entails a

comprehensive effort and a
formal program that prepares
team members to reach their full
potential as mortgage
professionals and as leaders.
For example, at NewDay USA
we have devoted a great deal of
energy and resources to create
our character-driven leadership
training program. All newly-hired
team members complete a
comprehensive formal leadership
training program. During a 12month period, each new
teammate participates in 60
hours of classroom instruction
that focuses on core values,
ethics-based leadership
concepts and understanding of
the uniqueness of the veteran
community. This training is in
addition to equally
comprehensive mortgage
banking-related educational
sessions.
In addition to classroom
training, successful leadership
development programs ideally
consist of mentoring, coaching
and exposure to accomplished
senior leaders who share their
experiences during forums,
conferences or other speaking
engagements. A well-designed
program also features
independent study, including a
list of outside reading that
complements and augments
concepts covered during formal
training sessions.
Continuing education and
advanced training
Need I mention that leadership
training and career development
resources should also extend
beyond the newly hired?
Continuing education, advanced
training and access to resources
such as toolkits for managers are
also hallmarks of a well-designed
program.
With all of these leadership
training elements in place, you
are far more likely to retain
valuable men and women of
character who live by your
company's core values. Even
those team members who move
on to other professions or other
mortgage banking organizations
become ambassadors for your
company. The concern you have
demonstrated for their

professional and personal
development creates lasting
respect for your organization.
There are also very practical
business reasons for
developing leadership
capabilities in the next
generation of mortgage
banking. The future leaders you
have trained this year are prime
candidates for promotion to
supervisory and management
roles next year and beyond. A
pool of talented individuals who
have been prepared for
increased responsibilities will
be ready, willing and able to
meet new responsibilities and
new challenges. Plus, in a
meritocracy that promotes from
within, you also reduce the
energy and expense of
recruiting for management
positions.
Preparing the leaders of the
future requires an investment in
time and resources. Done
correctly, it is an investment
that helps to ensure that your
mortgage company succeeds
and fulfills its mission.
Ship, shipmate, self
At the more philosophical level,
developing leaders and creating
opportunities are simply the
right things to do. Allow me to
illustrate how this works in
practice. At my company, we
primarily provide financial
solutions for men and women
who have served as members
of our military. We consider it
an honor to help service
members and veterans realize
the American dream. Our
culture's overarching
philosophy is what we call

a special focus on

Ship. Shipmate. Self. This
philosophy evolved during my
first command at sea of a naval
warship, the USS Truett.
We pursue our noble purpose
much the same as a sailor at
sea, who in every thought, word
and deed must first think of their
ship, their shipmates, and only
then of themselves. With this
philosophy, our customers-
service members, veterans and
their families-are our raison
d'etre and always our top
priority. Teammates are our
second priority. Only when these
have been addressed do we
worry about our individual
concerns. The result is: a culture
of giving, not taking-and a
company where character-driven
leaders develop and excel.
Hard-working, energetic and
enthusiastic team members
thrive when character-driven
leaders are on deck. In a
workplace culture where
character-driven leadership is the
norm, it becomes second nature
for individual team members to
commit themselves to making a
positive impact, helping one
another, and improving the lives
of our military veteran
customers. That's truly a noble
purpose.
Leaders throughout today's
mortgage industry are passionate
about helping homebuyers and
homeowners realize the
American Dream. Most consider
this to be an honor and a
privilege. By investing in the
development of the next
generation of mortgage
professionals and leaders, that
passion will continue to burn
brightly.

"Our future leaders are those who will keep the ship
afloat, no matter what the ever-changing business
environment sends our way."

Rear Admiral Tom Lynch, USN (Ret.) is executive
chairman of NewDay USA, a nationwide VA mortgage
lender focused on helping active military personnel,
veterans and their families achieve their financial and
housing goals. Admiral Lynch retired from the Navy in
1995. He was recognized as a U.S. Naval Academy
Distinguished Graduate in 2010.

a s


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