Developing Your Bank Leaders – Part One

In my next series of blogs, we will be focusing on a subject near and dear to my heart…leadership!

Much of our time as a company is focused on working with, developing and coaching leaders in banks.  For some executives, we’re working on succession issues and preparing them for their next promotion.  For others, they’ve already been promoted into a new leadership position and we’re helping them develop the mindset and skillsets to be effective in their new role.  Other times, we’re working with CEOs and Presidents helping them take their leadership skills to the next level.

Leadership” has been such a commonly used term in business for well over three decades.  Team leader, branch leader, department leader, and project leader are titles given to executives, managers and supervisors who at best understand only conceptually what leadership is.  Even more confusing is the difference between management and leadership.

Here’s the distinction: Management is an assignment.  Leadership is a choice!

Leadership and management must go hand in hand. They are not the same thing. But they are necessarily linked, and complementary. Any effort to separate the two is likely to cause more problems than it solves.

Still, much ink has been spent delineating the differences. The manager’s job is to plan, organize and coordinate. The leader’s job is to inspire and motivate. In his 1989 book “On Becoming a Leader,” Warren Bennis composed a list of the differences:

  • The manager administers; the leader innovates.
  • The manager is a copy; the leader is an original.
  • The manager maintains; the leader develops.
  • The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people.
  • The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust.
  • The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.
  • The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.
  • The manager has his or her eye always on the bottom line; the leader’s eye is on the horizon.
  • The manager imitates; the leader originates.
  • The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.
  • The manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his or her own person.
  • The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing.

A very powerful question to consider is what percentage of your week is spent managing and what percentage is spent leading?  And are these the correct percentages?

Adapted From “The Wall Street Guide For Management”Leadership

Perhaps there was a time when the calling of the manager and that of the leader could be separated. A foreman in an industrial-era factory probably didn’t have to give much thought to what he was producing or to the people who were producing it. His or her job was to follow orders, organize the work, assign the right people to the necessary tasks, coordinate the results, and ensure the job got done as ordered. The focus was on efficiency.

But in the new economy, where value comes increasingly from the knowledge of people, and where workers are no longer undifferentiated cogs in an industrial machine, management and leadership are not easily separated. People look to their managers, not just to assign them a task, but to define for them a purpose. And managers must organize workers, not just to maximize efficiency, but to nurture skills, develop talent and inspire results.

The late management guru Peter Drucker was one of the first to recognize this truth, as he was to recognize so many other management truths. He identified the emergence of the “knowledge worker,” and the profound differences that would cause in the way business was organized.

With the rise of the knowledge worker, “one does not ‘manage’ people,” Mr. Drucker wrote. “The task is to lead people. And the goal is to make productive the specific strengths and knowledge of every individual.”

Over the next several blogs, we’ll be taking a more in depth look at leadership and the differences between leadership and management.

Keep an eye out!

Evolutionary Business Planning For Lenders – Part Four – Final

Which Would You Prefer, To Be Uninspired or Inspired?

Confident businessman runs a successful business project. Business icons and growing arrow on the background.

Confident businessman runs a successful business project. Business icons and growing arrow on the background.

Its 8:51 Saturday morning and I just sat down with a hot cup of tea to write the final blog in the Taking an Evolutionary Approach to Business Planning.  I am feeling very peaceful and grateful for my life.  Before I get into the subject of business plans, I want to discuss how important it is these days for us to find ways to feel grateful in our lives.  Our world today is filled with threats, chaos, turmoil and injustices.  Our lives are pressure packed and exhausting.  There are so many things in life that deplete us emotionally, physically, spiritually and energetically, it is imperative we find ways to fill ourselves and to feel grateful.  Any activity that is connected to a personal passion brings us joy and gratitude.  When was the last time you allowed yourself the time to enjoy something you are passionate about?  Sometimes we can connect to our gratitude with the smallest, simplest act such as when we look at our children sleeping soundly in their beds, or when we take a moment to really take in the beauty of nature just outside our window.

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Evolutionary Business Planning For Lenders – Part Three

In this, the third blog in our educational series, Taking an Evolutionary Approach to Business Planning, our intent is to help your lenders modify their 2016 business plans, based on what they have learned from the analysis of their 2015 activities and results.

Plan Your Work; Work Your Plan…Why Don’t More Lenders Do This?

Production Process on the Mechanism of Metal Gears.

Production Process on the Mechanism of Metal Gears.

At the start of every year, an extremely high percentage of business plan conversations take place between sales managers and lenders beginning exactly the same way.  The conversation begins with the lender telling their sales manager, ”I want to bring in $ X,000,000 of loans” or “My goal this year is to bring in $X,000,000 of loans and deposits.”  Wanting to produce a result is great, having a goal is important.  The real question becomes how are your lenders going to produce the specified result?  For many lenders there is a vast difference between what they say they are going to do in their business plan and what they actually do blog in and blog out.  Why is that?  Why don’t more lenders follow their plans?  The answer is fairly obvious, no accountability to the business plan by either the lender or their sales manager.  Much of the responsibility for lenders not following their business plans falls on the shoulders of their sales managers.

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Evolutionary Business Planning For Lenders – Part Two

If you’ve been reading our blogs you’re beginning to recognize that we advocate taking a more thoughtful and strategic approach to every facet of sales.  In this, the second blog in our educational series, Taking an Evolutionary Approach to Business Planning, our intent is to leverage the insights learned from the recommended actions laid out in our last blog.

What Insights Were Gleaned from Last Week’s Analysis?

arrowOliver Wendell Holmes said, “A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.”  Wow, that quote certainly sheds light on the value of reflecting.

In last our last blog we laid out a process designed to help your lenders discover insights on how to be more efficient and effective in their sales efforts.  The goal of this process is to develop stronger 2016 business plans and stronger 2016 results.  The steps we discussed were:

  1. Be Intentional
  2. Discover Your Numbers and Closing Ratios

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Evolutionary Business Planning for Lenders – Part One

We’re excited to begin discussing lender business plans as part of our four-part blog series on Taking an Evolutionary Approach to Business Planning.

It doesn’t matter if your lenders have completed their annual business plans or are in the process.  I promise that the things we will be shedding light on over these next four weeks will measurably improve the quality of your lender’s business plans and dramatically increase the odds of them hitting their annual production goals.

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