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  • Marshall Goldsmith's 6 question approach applied to banking

Marshall Goldsmith wrote the book ‘Succession: Are you ready?‘ He is well known for his previous book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. That has never been more true than where we are right now!

Marshall focused on how leaders can lead in uncertainty. I listened with three lenses:
…How leaders lead in uncertainty. Focused on bank leadership and communication down through the management chain at the bank.
…How bankers lead in uncertainty. The outward communication to borrowers and the community. (This can be bank management but also can be individual bankers.)

Bankers at all levels are seen as business leaders and we can help frame this conversation as we all move through the recession together.

Listen to this interview that Elliot Massie of the eLearning Guild did with Mr. Goldsmith. Here are his six questions and two more of my own.

1. Where are we going?
Two way conversation. Where do you think we should be going?

2. Where are you going?
Where do you think you should be going?

3. Doing well. What do you think you and your part of the business are doing well?

4. Here are suggestions I as a manager I have for you. If you were the coach for you, what ideas would you have?

5. How can I help you?

6. What suggestions do you have for me?

If you feel paralyzed, ask yourself this question: What is the one step I can take right now?

Kayaking and Turbulent Times:
Which would you rather be right now, standing on a pillar or sitting in a kayak. Elliott Massie thinks leaders need good paddles. Marshall points out that in a kayak, you do not go in a straight line. You are always moving around.

Thumbnail image for Kayak.png 

I am starting a sea kayaking course this month, really! I am ready to paddle. How about you?

What numbers are you watching?
Old numbers don’t work in tough times. Look at customer loyalty instead of solely at customer sales.

Focus on what you CAN do! If you cannot sell what you sold before, you can work on customer relationships.

Marshall Goldsmith’s final tips:
Don’t hide from what is.
Do whatever you can to face the reality that is out there.
As hard as it is let go of the past, try to.
Minimize depression, anger, grieving.
Work to identify ‘the new world we live in now’ and take your best next action.

And my final questions:
Have you had this kind of conversation with your important business customers? Your direct reports? Your leaders?

What other conversations are helping?

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Linda Keith, CPA

Linda Keith CPA is an expert in credit risk readiness and credit analysis. She trains banks and credit unions throughout the United States, both in-house and in open-enrollment sessions, on Tax Return and Financial Statement Analysis.
She is in the trenches with lenders, analysts and underwriters helping them say "yes" to good loans.
Creator of the Tax Return Analysis Virtual Classroom at www.LendersOnlineTraining.com, she speaks at banking associations on risk management, lending and director finance topics.