Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

This Just In: People Still Matter

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

This Just In: People Still Matter

Article excerpt

Call us retro if you want, but we were pleased to note several references in articles in this issue to the importance of people. A useful reminder in our digitally-obsessed world.

The first reference that caught our attention was a line in the case study on page 16 about a community bank's success in wealth management. Asked what the bank's secret was, David Maynard, director of wealth management at Southern Community Bank & Trust, replied, "The number one thing is hiring the right people. Your strength is in having financial advisers that clients are comfortable with and trust."

People have to be number one. Plenty of providers have the same products, after all, and often similar prices. But even when doing business over the internet, subtle factors of credibility, capability, honesty, and comfort--all human attributes--often govern choices we make, from which investment adviser to use to choosing a hotel. An email response from a real person, for example, can make the difference when other factors are equal.

There is a chemistry--for lack of a better term--that characterizes any successful endeavor. An effective team, group, partnership, or friendship works in ways that cannot easily be defined, nor easily be duplicated. This is as true in business as it is in sports or government. The common element: People working together.

You'll find much to ponder along this line in the cover story about McCall Wilson (p. 30), who heads up ABA's America's Community Bankers Council this year. At The Bank of Fayette County, where he is president and CEO, Wilson has assembled a team of "overachievers," as he calls them, out of people who seemed just the opposite at first. …

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