ABA Banking Journal - April 2012 - (Page 22)
Pass The asPiRin
THE BAnkER-TO-BAnkER ExCHAngE
The headache: how do you think “out of the banking box”?
Bankers frequently steep in their own business thinking. They talk with other bankers, follow banking news, and attend banking events. These “prescribers” share ways they seek fresh ideas. Share yours at http://tinyurl.com/outofbankbox
Remedy 1: Take on nonbank work Keith Pollek, president and CEO, Fox River State Bank, $92.7 million-assets, Burlington,Wis. For the last seven years, I have served on the board of a manufacturing company. (It is not a client and is located in a different market.) This experience has helped me see banking matters through a customer’s eyes. As bankers, we understand our products and services, yet until we “walk a mile in their shoes,” it is difficult to fully appreciate how those impact clients. The company has asked me to help renegotiate and restructure its line of credit and term loans, and review treasury management services. Also, the board has been involved in strategic planning, sales and marketing, and operational issues—skills that are highly transferable. As bank CEOs, we are not just “bankers.” We are business men and women, who are bank leaders. There is much that can be learned from business people outside of banking. Remedy 2: Get a “service degree” Dorothy Savarese, president and CEO, Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank, $2.1 billionassets, Orleans, Mass. I have found that my outside, volunteer board work—which I feel I must do as a community banker, because of our mission and role in our service area—has helped me to be a better banker. As a bonus, it’s rewarding. I love giving back to our community. What makes the large time commitment even more worthwhile are the new ideas and problem-solving approaches that I
am exposed to by working closely with capable professionals from a range of disciplines and industries. The work has helped hone my listening skills. I love working together with fellow board members and making better decisions. I have witnessed boards come up with innovative solutions to pressing issues that go beyond the members’ respective industries and narrowly defined, functional expertise. The common thread is strong leadership combined with an ability to listen, learn, and bounce ideas around. My board work feels like an extension of my MBA. It has given me a “rich library” of ideas and new ways of thinking and approaching problems, allowing me to unleash my full potential by looking at banking problems in a more creative light. Remedy 3: Focus on people Ken Burgess, president and CEO, FirstCapital Bank of Texas, N.A., $593.5 million-assets, Midland, Texas One of the most important ingredients to success in a bank is the “Culture of Care” that leadership creates for team members, customers, and shareholders. For this reason, I read books that focus on strong team- and customer-centric organizations. Three examples: The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive (Patrick Lencioni); Leadership and Self Deception (Arbinger Institute); and Built to Serve (Dan J. Sanders). I would recommend all three of these books to anyone serving in a leadership position. (Editor’s note: Read bankerwritten reviews of books like these on www.ababj.com.)
Remedy 4: Read beyond banking Lisa Rabinsky, senior vice-president, CNLBank, $1.4 billion-assets, Boca Raton, Fla. I subscribe to electronic versions of trade publications aimed at CFOs, retailers, and entrepreneurs, in general. I quickly scan them for new ideas. They give me a range of topics to discuss with clients and prospects. And often, I am able to add value to my clients by providing information about their industries that they may not have known. Even if they did, they now know their banker is engaged in the relationship. Here is a sample of what I subscribe to: American Express Open Forum (Web-based business resource); the local business journal; “SmartBrief for CFOs” and “SmartBrief for Retail” (online news aggregators); and “Springwise” for entrepreneurs (online news aggregator). Remedy 5: Dig into leadership aids Deborah Cole, president and CEO, Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Co., $90.5 millionassets, Nashville, Tenn. An understanding of the various facets of management and characteristics of individuals has proven to be a tremendous asset to me in dealing with employees and customers. To help with that, I’m a constant reader of management and leadership materials from a number of sources: “Leadership Strategies” and other periodicals; short, easy-to-read material from www.walkthetalk.com; textbooks; and various applications for my iPad, which are found through the app store.
22 | ABA BANKING JOURNAL | april 2012
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - April 2012
ABA Banking Journal - April 2012
Young CEOs: Our turn
Pass the Aspirin
What is your appetite for risk?
Top-performing big banks
ABA Banking Journal - April 2012