Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Courageous Leadership Requires Courageous Coaching

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Courageous Leadership Requires Courageous Coaching

Article excerpt

THERE ARE MUST-READ stories in this issue of the ABA Banking Journal that speak of courageous and selfless leadership. Each illustrates its point with true stories--because sometimes nothing teaches better than a real-life example.

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In my life and career, I've learned leadership first hand from others who have exemplified it. One in particular--Bruce Hammatt--not only demonstrated leadership, he nurtured it in me and helped me see the importance of paying it forward.

Bruce was more than a role model and more than a mentor. He actively promoted me--to others but also to myself, encouraging me to seek out new opportunities and encouraging those with the opportunities to take a chance on me.

Using today's business vernacular, Bruce was a sponsor, a leadership responsibility that I believe ranks up there with motivating employees and setting ambitious goals.

The difference between a mentor and a sponsor is the difference between coaching a job candidate before a big interview and advocating for that person to be hired. It's proactive involvement in advancing someone else's career. And it's a huge difference-maker.

Prior to moving to Cape Cod, I worked at a regional bank in northern Kentucky and before that as an economic development consultant. I was looking for ways to leverage that experience after moving to the Cape, ideally on a part-time basis since I was a new mom. That's when I first turned to Bruce to explore local job opportunities.

From the beginning, he empowered me with information about the job market on the Cape--and even more important, he taught me a community bank's perspective to lending. That involved "unlearning" some things from a previous life teaching credit at a national level. For example, I discovered there really was something to assessing a borrower's credit risk based on the neatness of his or her wood pile! …

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