Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Time to Join the Army

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Time to Join the Army

Article excerpt

"Bankers need to apply the same focus, skill, and energy they use as leaders in their own communities to the critical issues facing the industry"

bstreeter@sbpub.com

Bankers are quite familiar with what it takes to get something accomplished within the communities where they work. Most projects involve committees. Bankers frequently serve on them and know that unless there is a "driver" on those committees, little will be accomplished. As ABA Chairman Kell Kelly, who qualifies as a driver, says, "If you don't push, nothing moves."

Naturally, the person doing this has to believe in the project and be committed to it, because, with rare exceptions, anything involving change requires tenacity, patience, and sometimes sheer force of will to overcome entrenched interests, inertia, and opposition. A thick skin also helps. In situations where everything's on the line, a leader cannot be distracted by personal feelings, doubts, or anything that gets in the way of the goal.

There was a memorable scene in the movie Patton, when the general drives to the front lines where one of his divisions is bogged down by stubborn resistance. Dissatisfied with the division commander's response, the general dismisses him on the spot, and tells his replacement if he can't do it, he'll get someone in there who can. That's war, of course, but there ate plenty of situations, short of war--in business, government, politics, and even sports--where a similar approach is required.

Banking is in such a situation right now, as described in the cover story (p. 26). One of the article's points is that bankers need to apply the same focus, skill, and energy they use as leaders and drivers in their own communities and institutions to the critical issues facing the industry in the wake of the Dodd-Frank Act. …

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