Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

To a New, or "Wannabe," Bank CEO

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

To a New, or "Wannabe," Bank CEO

Article excerpt

You've just been given the responsibility of being CEO of the bank. Congratulations! Lots to think about.

You didn't arrive here without showing some ability to plan and manage. But there's a big difference between "dreaming" about what you'd do and actually being in the chair and having the responsibility and authority to carry out expectations. The most valuable procedures will be one-on-one interviews, departmental discussions, indepth chats with directors, and appointments with customers ranging from the rich to the poor, Listen carefully; ask questions; seek honest opinions and advice; take notes.

You will have many viewpoints expressed. Some of the people you talk with will also question you: "What are your goals, Mr. New CEO?" or "What do you intend to do about X?" "X" can be an individual, a department, a bad loan, or a pet peeve of the questioner. If you are sure of it, state your position. If you are surprised or aren't sure, say, "Right now, I don't know. But I'll get back to you with my answer." The honesty of admitting you don't know everything can be refreshing to the questioner.

The basics of your new position, in my opinion, are these:

1. Maintain or improve the profitability of the bank.

2. Assure a fair return for the owners and develop a superior place to work and to serve the bank's customers.

3. Place the bank at the forefront of building the community's economic soundness and growth, as well as provide leadership and aid for the cultural, educational, professional, and religious activities which benefit the community.

4. Foster the role of the bank as part of a major industry enfranchised to provide financial services and support to all elements of the area.

Those four priorities can be expanded with details, but they provide a foundation for your next steps.

Now I come to the matter of your role and your bank's obligation to our industry. …

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