If we had a crystal ball that saw into the future of banking, we could see upcoming lending trends, customer insights, digital direction, and so much more. While we don’t have a fortune teller of that magnitude, we do have industry experts that can help forecast the direction of the industry. Their forward-looking guidance will help you steer your bank to the future.
Join Ben Pankonin and ICBA’s Executive Vice President, Chris Lorence, as they provide a sneak peek into the 2018 LEAD FWD Summit in defining your bank’s legacy and the future of banking leadership trends. They will discuss how to plot a path that aligns your brand with the direction of the industry — including some insightful #Chrisims. This webinar is intended to help community banks develop their leadership outlook, allowing them to advance their brand regardless of where the future takes them.
Unknown Speaker 0:00
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Ben Pankonin 0:09
Well, welcome back to another episode of our webinar series, we’re going to be talking about leading banking into the future. And we’re going to be talking about criticisms with our very special icba guest, Chris Lawrence. And for those of you who have been through many of our webinars in the past, my name is Ben penken, and I’m a co founder of social insurance. You can follow me at Ben penken. And follow us on social insurance and more importantly for the conversation today. We’re going to be tweeting with the hashtag, hashtag social bank. If you have questions today, you can shoot those off in tweets on social bank, or you can go on to the right side of your screen for most of you is on the right side. There’s a little spot to ask your questions. I’ll be asking a lot of questions of Chris today. We’re going to be doing it a little bit different than our typical format because we’re going to be asking Chris to really walk us through the leadership lessons he’s learned across his career in banking. And we’re going to be learning a lot about where he sees future trends, and how leadership plays a role in community banking. I know of nobody who’s had more experience in leadership and community banking than Chris, so I’m excited to talk with him and share a lot of his story with you. But for first for many of you who reached our promotions, thanks to a little video from our friend Reese. She’s the daughter of our operations director, Stacy. So thanks to Reese. You deserve some Bitcoin and chocolate chip cookies. So we’ll make sure she’s taking care of, but thank you so many of you for joining us. As always, you know, feel free to stay in contact with us. If you have questions, as we’re going, I’ll try to get those in front of Chris. And we’ll introduce Chris. So Chris is the SVP over at icba. And as a had an extensive career in community banking on a number of different levels. I’m excited for a number of reasons. I caught Chris, actually at the icba live conference a few months ago and said, I’ve been fascinated by him tweeting out his criticisms, many leadership lessons, so we’re going to hear some of those today we’re going to hear why Chris is had started those. And hopefully we’ll hear a little bit more about the that impact. You can follow. Chris at Chris commando, so if you’re if you’re tweeting, feel free to tweet with Chris. And I know we have a number of you register from all over the country. Some of you who may have worked with Chris Some of you who currently are at icba, and a lot of community banks from across the country who have been able to listen to Chris, and so Chris, welcome aboard.
Dani Chaney 3:13
Well, thank you so much. I heard you say experience and that translated into my head is your old. But you know, I mean, experience is a good thing. Yeah, I’m really excited when you first asked me to do this, I was a little stunned because, believe it or not, I participated in a lot of on the other end of these calls, but I’ve actually never done a webinar where I was actually being sort of interviewed. So exciting. Awesome.
Ben Pankonin 3:39
Well, well, Chris, I think one of the things that I’m excited to bring out because you’ve, you’ve had so much leadership experience, and many of it as as I was learning at a young age, I’d love to understand a little bit of, of where you come from, how did how did you get involved? Why did you You decide to get in banking.
Dani Chaney 4:03
So I’ve known that I wanted to work in a bank since I was seven years old. So as my mom would drive up to the pneumatic tube, and she would put a piece of paper inside and on within minutes on the other side would come suckers and cash. And I thought that is the place that I need to work. So I remember walking in on a field trip when I was probably 10 into a bank and they showed us around and you know, they opened the vault and I saw all those lock boxes and all the cash that was being in the teller drawers and the huge huge thing of suckers that was sitting by the drive thru dum dum. And I just again, it was like, cemented in my head like this is the perfect place to work. So from that point forward, I just really focused in on banking, there was really no other sort of alternative for me from an education standpoint, and I started work as a teller while I was in school while I was in high school actually at Acadia. The bank then worked my way up through community banking. And then when went to the dark side, and then ended up at icba.
Ben Pankonin 5:10
Yeah, so a lot of steps in that process, but you know, started off in as a teller, when in this kind of journey, did you figure out that leadership was maybe something you were interested in or became a leader.
Dani Chaney 5:31
So I think probably my very first job that I had, I worked for a credit union that was an East Coast credit union that that took care of London, as well as the East Coast. And I had two employees that reported to me and I’d never had anybody report to me before. Our headquarters was in San Francisco, California. So I would get into the office at eight and our headquarters wasn’t even open yet. And I would sort of go through the process. Right, opening the branch and making loan decisions and doing, doing the process of, you know, the managerial duties, but then realized as I was doing that, that the people that were reporting to me were looking at me for something more. They they understood the policies and the procedures. They started asking me questions like, you know, where, where are you going in your career, you know, what do you what do you see is the next thing that we should be doing? You know, how, what, what are things that we should be adding to our resume? What are you adding to your resume? And I realized that, that at that point in time that there was something more like there had to be more than just managing the branch and managing the people, but it was helping them do, helping them get the most out of their career helping and allowing them to help me get the most out of my career. And so it began sort of a team mentality that said, you know, I’m going to need to give a little bit more of me To them, and in turn, they’re going to give more of themselves to me. And where we ended up being like rock star branch. We were top lenders, for the whole organization. We would fly back and forth to San Francisco every quarter. We actually could close the branch on a Friday and fly to San Francisco to have a team meeting with the rest of the credit union. That’s what happens when you don’t pay taxes. You have all that ability to fly places and do things. But when I was done working there, I felt I had grown from being a manager to someone who thought they understood what leadership was supposed to be. And that sort of opened the door. To me thinking a little differently, that this had to be a it had to be. It had to be more than just policies and procedures. There had to be personality involved. I left that credit union and went to work for the FDIC. Employees Federal Credit Union, which most people don’t realize the FDIC has a credit union. It was 138, credit union chartered in America. So it’s been around for a really long time. And I went to work there as the Chief Operating Officer at 25 years old. So I had full lending authority, I had 28 people reporting to me. So I went from two to 28. And spent, spent my time my four years there working for a CEO who was two years older than I was. So we really, of course, thought way outside the box. And in that time, we introduced credit card program, a mortgage program, a debit card program and internet banking. Those were all things that were sort of moving forward in the mid 90s, to the to the end of the 90s. And again, dealing with a call center, for example, something I had never done, but realizing that the person that works in a call center needed one thing from me structure. And a loan officer needed something else from me, which was they needed guidance, they needed input they needed. They needed me to tell them what I thought, but didn’t necessarily need me to take them by the hand and walk them through the whole process step by step. And again, as my sort of my leadership, thought process began to grow, I realized how important it was for me to to come to work every day, thinking sort of, how do I, you know, I sort of had an idea of how I was showing up, but I really was focused on how do I want to show up, you know, I want to come to work and show them that that they were as important as I was, and that their ideas were where I could get my ideas from. So they were feeding me ideas and I was feeding them ideas back and together we ended up again, doing some incredible things. That that one wouldn’t have done as an individual.
Ben Pankonin 10:03
I like that. And you know, we have a lot of people on the webinar that are in various different roles within banking. Some of them, manage people, some of them, don’t manage people. And some of them, you know, manage a lot of people. And so when we when we think about those different roles, what what did that transition look like for you to go from managing zero people to two people, the 28? And what sorts of impacts did that have amongst your peers? And then those people that you managed, how did that change your communication and how you became a leader, how, what sorts of things changed in that?
Dani Chaney 10:49
I think that many people, including myself, start out with the idea that you’re going to demand respect just by the sheer title that you have. And the ability to wave, you know, wave your hand and send an email and, you know, say this is the way we’re going to do it from this point forward. And that does work for a while. Then I think there, many times people grow beyond that sort of demand, and they grow into command. So they’re looking to have people respect them, because you’re respecting the people that are following you. And that sort of that sort of demand to command is is something that happens. For me, it happened over a period of years. You know, I’d like to say I was consistently a commanding person, meaning that I was, I was giving good advice and people were giving me good feedback. And I was open to that feedback. I’m, you know, I’m not going to be a liar and tell you that I was consistent about it. It takes it takes a long time for it to become a thought process that you can you know, that you begin to live and breathe and it almost becomes a habit and even today, you know, As I sit back and think about my leadership journey, there are moments where I am like, wow, I should have handled that differently or you didn’t. Chris, speaking of myself, you didn’t ask a single question, while that person was talking to you, you just, you basically just let them tell you what they were feeling or thinking, and then you just told them what your response was. And it’s really important to to be able to think that that sort of that way of being able to ask questions along the way, because I get better understanding from those people that are bringing me information by asking them questions of and learning, what’s their point of view? What is the lens that they’re sort of bringing you that information is that they have a bad experience. And so maybe they’re extra fearful about the situation that they’re going through? Or is there something personal happening in their life that I am unaware of, that could probably possibly change their thinking or their judgment on something so it’s a long time long process. And I wish truly that I knew, you know, 10 years ago, five years ago what I know now, because I truly think that I could have been making a bigger difference along the way.
Ben Pankonin 13:15
Awesome. Now you got started sharing Chris’s criticisms, and why did you start creating this hashtag on Twitter? And you know, obviously, you’ve got a roll of communication for icba. You’re in communication with a lot of community banks. And you started this hashtag, How did this get started? And what was the inspiration for
Dani Chaney 13:39
that? Well, I decided that it was going to be very important for me to have a personal brand. I knew what my role was, and my response was, were to icba and to community banks. But I also realized that you know, I could I could go through the perfunctory parts of my job and and get the and get the job done and get the job done well, but how would I understand marketing and communication and this digital this new digital form that was out there, unless I sort of got my feet into it personally. So I decided to create something that would hopefully be allow me to think outside the box, not necessarily the banking related, but sort of allow me to talk about leadership in a way that I wanted to. And so at some point, someone who worked for me and Chen, who may be on the call, sort of, she sort of inspired me, she sort of said, you know, you should probably do this, or at least build your personal brand. And I really wasn’t sure how to do it. And one day, someone in my sphere of influence did something that was so powerful. side the norm when it came from a to a leadership perspective that I sort of sat there and was like, I would never have done it that way that is just awful. And I was like, that’s gonna leave mark. And so the first criticism was born. And I was like, Okay, so how do I take this negative and turn it around to something that’s positive, that says, hey, here is something that you probably shouldn’t do as a leader. Or if you were a quality leader, this is what you would do. And suddenly, my eyes were opened as I went through the dry cleaners or I went to I went to a business meeting, or I was sitting here at icba, or whatever. I started looking around people who were in leadership, and if you could see my hands, I’d have those air quotes, leadership positions, doing things that we’re like, wow. That’s not leadership. That’s protecting your job. That’s not leadership. That’s That’s trying to avoid getting in trouble. You know, and and beginning to take those pieces. And I used to keep a piece of paper in the back of my notebook. And I would just jot them down as they were coming to me. And I would do a list. Sometimes I would be on an airplane, and I could get like 10 or 20 of them all done while I was on the airplane and then spit them out one at one each day.
Ben Pankonin 16:24
That’s great. Yeah, you talked about yesterday, when we were we were chatting and catching up a little bit. You mentioned one of the times when that was when you had a major sort of Chris ism, breakthrough. When you were at a conference, us share that story.
Dani Chaney 16:42
Um, while you’re gonna have to give me a little bit more than that I talked about so much yesterday. I don’t remember you shared
Ben Pankonin 16:47
about a moment where we have this challenge a lot of times in banking of change of leadership from from generations. And so the sort of advice we have for For young people, and you know, both you and I work with a lot of young people, and you had mentioned the challenge there that sometimes leadership doesn’t want things to change, and they want the next generation to be just like them. And that was one of those leadership moments you mentioned to me that was, that was a particularly strong criticism.
Dani Chaney 17:24
Yeah, that Yeah, I know. No, thank you. So I did attend an event where a group of up and coming bankers so this is a group that was assembled probably about 3540. People who were in the throes of learning, management, learning the the sort of everything that’s going on in banking, and there were a panel of three CEOs that were sitting in the front of the room. And one of the questions that was asked of those panelists was what’s the biggest challenge or obstacle that you’re facing and the three people that were currently CEOs and leadership said, finding, finding suitable people to be in leadership and being management at the bank. You know, how difficult it was to find people who were to really, you know, understood community banking that really had their hearts into it, that we’re willing to put in the effort and and do the things that they needed to do in order to become management into become leadership. And I, I sort of as I was in the audit, because I was presenting next, and I was listening to them and I was like, do you have any idea who you’re talking to? This is the group that’s supposed to be inspired to move into the position that you’re actually sitting in, and how, just how bad it felt to hear that, and then to have the panelists continue to go on and say, you know, more and more about, you know, they needed more people to be like them, to think like them and to do You know, to be able to run the bank, the way they run the bank. And when it was all done, they got up to leave. And you know, they left the meeting to go and take care of whatever business they were going to take care of. And it was my turn to spoke and I speak and I actually paused before I started speaking and said, what you just heard, completely ignore all of it. I was like, the most important thing is is to is to not listen to what you’re not, because we don’t want you to be like them. They had their chance, they were at the top and they they came in, no one walks in the door as a CEO, baked, they come in the door, with a lot of experience just as much as the people in that room would have come you are gaining. And then they have to figure it out for themselves. And they have to figure out how they’re going to run their organizations, what culture they’re going to set for the organization. You know, how they want people to engage with each other. And there isn’t going to be any one of those people, the young people in the room that we’re going to be just like Those people sitting on the panel. So it’s really important I think from when we look at the whole boomers looking at millennials and poking and, you know, blaming and nobody stays in their jobs, you know, they get here, they work here three years, and then they leave, they have no loyalty. Well look back at your own career, did you stay at the same place? You know, for 40 years the first time, there probably are examples of those. But most of us move around a little bit to be able to, to gain some experience and some exposure and to be able to see what different cultures are like because you don’t often know what you like, or how you’re going to run things until you figure that out for yourself.
Ben Pankonin 20:42
That’s a great thought. Now, Chris, we had a lot of questions around to the the sort of transitions in technologies and things like that, but But first, I’d love to hear you were a part of some really important transitions. banking. And so your move to from that, from being in banking to then working with icba. Maybe you can tell us a little bit about that journey and how you began it at a, I think, a really critical time for digital banking to start.
Dani Chaney 21:19
It’s true. So the very last product that I installed at the FDIC employees Federal Credit Union, was internet banking. And that was in 1999. Actually, 98 and we had gone with the company, we had installed it, as you can imagine, we only had one office, and that was in Washington, DC, but bank examiners, as you know, were all over the country. And so they needed access to their funds to be able to apply for loans and things like that. And so, I was just fascinated by the whole.com. Everything that was.com that was happening at the moment and lots of startups people making billions of dollars by you know, starting at these organizations. And stock options so I did the safe route and that I took I went to work are wanting to work for the vendor that was installing our internet banking. But instead I went to icba bank card who was partnering with that vendor to bring internet banking to community banks. And I literally started in February in 99. And spent the better part of three months learning internet banking backwards, forwards and sideways and then became an evangelist and went out on the road to every state association event that I could get on the speaking Dyess and and talk about internet banking, and nothing. Nothing will ever erase this from my memory of the looks of the people in the audience, as I talked about how important it was for Community Bank, to have internet banking to be able to allow them to allow their customers to transact business online, people were going to be wanting to pay their bills online, they were going to want to log in probably on their phone at some point in the future, and to be able to move money from checking to savings. And having the the audience look at me and go, this is absolutely ridiculous. I can’t believe we’re wasting valuable time caring about this internet thing. And internet banking, and my people are not going to do anything like that our customers love coming into our branches. You know, we just installed a fax machine to their faxing of stuff. And they like that we have ATM. At that point, email, I just started to really get you know, gain traction. And so people were thinking about the idea that people could email them but they didn’t give an email address to everybody in the bank, just a couple people. But man, how the world has changed. I mean, if you stand back and look at it, now you wouldn’t think of not having internet banking and now we’re talking about digital Marketing, you know, and moving from, you know, placing a print ad or putting a billboard on the side of the road to somebody’s full time job, looking at a Twitter, Twitter and Facebook page and making sure that the message that’s going out, you know, is crisp and makes sense and is current.
Ben Pankonin 24:19
So, when you were in 1999, and everything started changing you were you were kind of right on the front end of helping banks across the country, try to realize this reality that that the world was gonna change. What, what did you see in that, you know, obviously, not quite every banker adopted this right away, and you had a huge struggle in communicating the value to those banks, but you also sort of had a challenge in helping them see that financially. There were different applications because, you know, they didn’t, they didn’t just rush out to online banking and all of a sudden make money from online banking, how did you help share that value and share that vision?
Dani Chaney 25:12
So the one place that you could make money, obviously, was the bill pay piece. And so there was a little bit of money there. And as bankers, you know, you’re always thinking of the ROI, you know, and how am I going to turn this into something else? You know, there were different iterations of internet banking, there were a variation that you could sell advertising to your small business customers that would be on your that would be on your website. You know, again, banks were just starting to make their websites to be a little bit more than just digital brochures. If you had one at all. And you trying to help, trying to help people look at the bigger picture. Now I will I stood in front of a crowd, a large crowd. And I said, all the money that’s in your vault today will not be there, because the people that own that money are dying, and they’re going to pass it on to their kids who are not going to be interested in walking into your branches. And they’re not going to be interested in, you know, in in chucking it up, you know, on Main Street somewhere, they’re gonna want to do business with you, but on their terms, and it doesn’t seem like it right now. But but it is going to move and sometimes, you know, again, I’m not necessarily the most politically correct person, but sometimes saying it in a way that people are like, Oh, yeah, you probably have a point there. You know, there were those acknowledgments along the way that were like, Okay, I’m going to look at it, but it’s not something we’re going to do now. And within probably three years, we went from 80 different vendors that were offering internet banking, down to like 10. So it got quickly pulled it in to a market that was very distilled The products got better and they got more streamlined, the bill payment solutions became a lot more more effective. They gobbled each other up until they got, you know, two, you end up with one product or two products that are really strong. But it is amazing how, how quickly that happened. When you think about how long it probably took for banks to get ATMs or how long it took banks to get, you know, email for everybody in the bank and allowing it to be, you know, something that everybody could use.
Ben Pankonin 27:31
Now, you had the vision to see that that this was coming. When not not a lot of people did at that time. You know, throughout you know, leadership. Do you feel like you know, have you Have you always been able to pick the the winner from the loser?
Dani Chaney 27:51
No, no, I wish I could say that I had there been many ideas. You know, one of the things being a 30 year old sitting in front of people who were much senior to me and it and had a lot more at risk than I did know they owned the bank, or they were a major stockholders in the bank and to have some kid coming along and telling you that this internet banking product program was going to be something that was going to make or break your organization is a little hard to swallow. Because they, as bankers, they probably hear all the time, different people coming to them and saying, this is the one this is the thing. This is what’s going to it’s going to change. And I will tell you, I had a sort of a renaissance of that same experience, when 10 years ago in 2010 icba launched its Twitter account, and in 2010 at our convention or it’s actually 2011 at our convention. Right before the convention opens. We have a staff meeting. And we I think cam fine was was up up on the Dyess I think it was two maybe it’s 2005. Anyway, he’s up on the Dyess and he’s talking to everybody, and we have all of our people that are in charge of our convention. And that was our first year that we had basically rolled out Twitter to actually, you know, I hashtag and we were trying to promote our, our, our social media, and can look down at me and he said, Yeah, Lawrence down there in the front row is going to be rolling out at Twitter at this convention, and he just sort of looked at me and then sort of got a chuckle. And he said, I’d take a bullet to the head before you’re going to find me using anything like that. And of course, that’s what you want to hear from the CEO of the company is like, I have no confidence in what we’re about to do. But it is fascinating how times changed because after that convention, and more, more people got on onto Twitter and more people started using social media that’s following convention can pull myself and Janice And said, when I get back from convention, I want to teach me how to use this. And I from day one, he jumped on and hasn’t looked back. So I mean, everybody kind of knows, you know, Cam fine on social media, because he just puts it out there. And there have been a many a moment when when it was an icba sort of managed program, that Han would come running down the hall and go, Oh, my God cam just tweeted, you know, we’re gonna strangle the baby in the crib, and she was like, What am I do? And I’m like, deleted deleted quick.
Ben Pankonin 30:34
That’s awesome. I love that story. So you kind of have managed that transition. What do you feel like? You know, if we were to sort of take that filter that you’re learning with, you learn from from Twitter and obviously social media, being successful, Internet Banking being successful, what sort of lessons Do we have to learn from Standing? What’s going to be successful? What’s going to, you know, move the needle for the bank versus what might not?
Dani Chaney 31:08
That’s a great question. And I would say my experience has shown me that there are, there’s a lot of fear that doesn’t get addressed in a good idea. Many times, the thought process is that we need to adopt something or we need to do something, but it’s not connected to a reason why. You know, and if I would, to go back to my younger self, you know, I do a lot of a lot of spitballs on the wall, a lot of ideas. You know, one of the things that I’ve, as I sort of mentor people is and learn from my mistakes, pick the time to bring it up. Because the time that you want to talk about it may not be the best time to have it be heard. And then know when to
to be the idea generator,
and then the idea, this sort of the idea A creator and carrying it forward. Because many times the idea is not yours to actually bring to fruition anytime it can just be your idea. And you have to be able to walk away and allow somebody else to take that on their own timetable forward.
So I would say,
you know, looking back and trying to figure out how to bring ideas forward is first, try your very best to think about the people that you’re about to pitch this idea to, and what would their fears be? And it could be something as fearful as this is going to cost a lot of money, or there’s a lot of risk involved. But nine times out of 10 what I have found is
Unknown Speaker 32:44
Dani Chaney 32:45
say no, or they block it or they’re not interested because they think they have to do it. And so if you’re if you’re bringing up social media, for example, and it’s like I really want our bank to, you know, to get involved on Twitter or Facebook Or, you know, Instagram or whatever. And leadership is saying, you know, now it’s too risky. There’s too many compliance issues, you know, there, there are things that we’re going to have to do or What’s that? What’s the ROI, you know, in doing this, because this is going to take valuable time away. You know, we need to be able to say, and here’s how we’re going to get it done. And you don’t need to do anything, like I’m not going to force you to open a Twitter account, so don’t worry about it. And then listening to them sort of, or asking them directly to what’s your fear? What is what’s keeping you up at night about this idea? And what keeps you from thinking about it or what’s keeping you from trusting me to implement it?
Because that may be the other piece that’s
involved is maybe they haven’t thought about it’s a trust issue. Maybe they’ve just thought about it’s a you know, it’s a something I’m not familiar with, and it might cost us money, but maybe it is them going home I never thought about not how this seems like I’m you’re not i’m not trusting you. So what what could you do to develop That trust to allow them to, to be able to put the parameters around it to get you to be able to launch something. And to be able to monitor it to make sure that it doesn’t turn into a fiasco.
Ben Pankonin 34:11
That’s a there’s so much so much depth to what you just said, you know, one of those was de risking some things for those people who are worried about it, don’t don’t worry about it, I’ll start the Twitter account, or I’ll start the, the activity right for you. So helping them to de risk it. But also kind of understanding that success kind of is different for different people in different positions. All right. And we talked about this a little bit the other day when we talked about how, how success and, you know, looks different moment by moment and taking a bigger picture and you had some leadership lessons around that, that I’d love to hear. Your your take on, on how we think of leaders and and leadership in that moment when we need to affect change.
Dani Chaney 35:12
Yeah, you know, it’s amazing I am, I learned again something that you learn pretty along your journey. So about two years ago, I started working with a leadership coach, because I realized that I had, I had so much more to learn about this leadership thing and while I thought I was doing good, I learned that were my own edges were and one of the first things that sort of I sort of, banged my head against the wall was I kept feeling that I was not achieving as much as I thought I should should be able to achieve. So I was doing all the right things. I’ve done the right things. my entire career, you know, I I stayed the right amount of time, I looked for the opportunity to learn something new. I know I brought up ideas That were fresh and new and different. And I not only brought the ideas, I would bring the plan, you know, and I was reflecting back this morning as I was preparing for this and I thought, okay, the one thing I didn’t do is while I was bringing up the idea and I was bringing up the plan is I didn’t necessarily connect it to the mission or the vision, so that it would have been made a lot of sense. And it would have been a little harder for people to stand back and go, Okay, now I see what’s going on. Or they it would have been harder for them to refute it and say, I don’t I don’t get this. But instead, I sort of had the idea and maybe it was more like a balloon that was sort of floating out there. That really wasn’t tied to anything important, or it wasn’t tied to what the organization was doing. But as I was banging my head against the wall and thinking I should be doing more, I should be getting more. I discovered that there’s a sort of called a polarity and there’s a polarity between success and significance. And what I realized is that what I was really craving was significant. What I really wanted, which lasted a lot longer than success was knowing that I was making a difference. And knowing that I was comfortable with generating an idea or throwing a thought out on the table, and letting someone else take it and move it forward, to make it the best idea and then make the best end result as as they could. And I was good with not having credit for it. Because in my head and in my soul, I knew that I thought that up. And it allowed me when I started to look at sort of that, that that continuum of success versus significance. I realized my sort of meter was way over on the success side and I was judging my success based on my paycheck based on my title, based on the accolades and the in the things that I was getting that were physical, in the end, and what I was missing was the acknowledgement of the significance of what I was doing. And so, people were coming to me and saying, gee, I you you helped inspire me to do this or, you know, gee, that article that you wrote was powerful, and it made a difference. And I showed that to my CEO. And we’re doing something different in our organization. As a result of that. It’s interesting to realize that that significant significance or acknowledging that feels so much better for so much longer than the rays or the title, or all of the other things that come with the physical, the physicalness of leading so I began to move my leadership style to be into acknowledged significance. And then when I started doing that, I noticed that I started communicating differently to people that that worked with me. So when they would come to me and say, we just, we just did this and we got this many more emails or this many more responses to to our outbound marketing campaign. Look at what we did. I was able to say, Well, great, there are the numbers. That’s all And that you did that, but look at how you changed our process, which can we can now duplicate for another, you know, another event or another effort that we’re going to be doing in the future, we’ve now stumbled upon something that’s going to help others in the organization. And so when I began to acknowledge other people’s significance in their contribution, I noticed their responses were a lot different. It’s like, Oh, so I get the quick hit the feeling of success, I hit the number, but then I get the acknowledgement that says, I may have changed the course of everything that we do from this point forward, which is going to have bigger results.
Ben Pankonin 39:36
That’s a great thought. So when we think about significance, versus this sort of short term success, you used an analogy the other day about coffee, which which resonated with me, I want to share that with you. So I’m feeling conviction in this whole thing is that I told and reminded Chris, this webinars really for me, I’m just like, Listening and soaking this up. This is my way to get sort of free consulting here for an hour. But, but your comment about sort of we keep, you know, going to the instant caffeine, I thought was really powerful. And then when we think about significance being much longer term, how do we motivate ourselves? I think that’s a beautiful example. How do we also think about motivating and communicating? So sometimes when we’re communicating, maybe I’m communicating on behalf of, of my bank, right? How do I communicate significance versus just communicating that that we want, you know, that sort of next account open or we want that next item? How do we communicate significance?
Dani Chaney 40:49
That’s that you know, that that’s going to be different for obviously, for every situation, but you know, one of the things that I try to do as often as I can, is connect the dots or give the reason why, you know, it’s, it’s what is the longer term game, you know, when I went into management and you know went from being the person that was the teller to wanting to run my own branch or to to further one of the things I kept doing was looking up and looking at the people that were in the C suite or looking at the people that were in those positions that I really wanted to get to. And I found myself standing there and going no idea how they got there. And they’re not about to tell me how they got there, you know, it became like this club that I thought they all belonged to, you know and and there was the cabinet and there was these other no there was these other positions in the or within an organization that seemed like to be a club that you had to join and there was a handshake, but nobody in that club would ever reached down into the to the rest of the organization say come on into the club. We’re going to show you what’s going on. And if you look at that, you look at that, from a product standpoint to your customer, you know, a customer coming into your bank is coming into a land that they know nothing about there, they probably have no idea what they actually need or want. And they have their guard up. It’s like going to the car lot on a Saturday, you know, you might want to just go and look at that car, because it looks really good on the street. You don’t want to buy it. But you know, if you do that, the downside of that is someone’s going to approach you and just start hammering you with questions. The same thing happens with people in the bank, in that they might know that they need a loan, but they’re not quite sure how to do that process. We’re in that position, we we are in a position that that we know how that gets done. And and we need to be able to share that information. So I’m kind of doing two things at once. So if you look at the leadership within the bank, you know, one of the things that I committed to myself was, if I ever got to that level, where I could find out what What was inside what was happening behind that door, I would always convey that information downwards, I would always convey that information to the left of me and to the right of me, so that there was no mystery. Because I thought, whatever they’re saying, or whatever they’re doing cannot be so secret that we can’t let other people in this room. We can’t let other people figure out how to get this, how to get to this level or attain their best thing. Because there’s, you know, there’s a lot of people that were like me going like, yeah, I want to fail. What do you think they talk about when they go to a board meeting? You know, what do you think they talk about me? You know, can you imagine if you’re a customer of the bank, and you’re like going in and everybody’s dressed really, really nice. And you know, you’re going in and you’re like, you’ve actually put some thought into what you were going to wear because you’re going to go in there and ask for money. Nothing is more intimidating in the world than to sit down in front of somebody and say, I need money. Because, you know, there’s that whole judgment idea of, you know, well would you do with the money earned last week, you know, why didn’t you save more? Why? Why didn’t you treat your mother better and let her give you an inheritance? I mean, there’s there’s all that judgment that’s around there. And so I think providing people with as much communication and as much information that they’re willing to listen to is really important, whether you’re a bank, trying to bring people in to do business with you, or whether you are a leader in an organization and you want to create more leaders, talk to them, tell them realize that where you sit, while you think it’s an everyday occurrence, that everybody knows what happens at a board meeting, you know, there are 80% of the people in the bank, they’re looking and going, like, I have no idea what happened there. But it must be super secret because they keep the door closed.
Ben Pankonin 44:46
that’s a that’s a great thought about communication. And I’d also like to highlight you, you know, when we talk about leadership, we don’t always talk about leadership when things are going great And you talked about that a little bit. I know you have some strong opinions on that.
Dani Chaney 45:05
I do I you know, it’s it’s fascinating. Anybody that’s ever worked with me here at icba One of the things that I think I’m that I’m actually very proud of is in a crisis. You can either get angry and blame, you can walk down the hall screaming and yelling, you can, you know, obviously you can accuse, but the thing that has to happen first is fix it, you know, figure out how to turn it off how to how to fix it, how to remove the situation. You know, you look at people who are who use social media now, I think I read somewhere that like 73% of people that are on Twitter expect a response from an from their company when they complain within an hour like they want, but they want a response. And there are so many people who are looking at that and going like I don’t know what I don’t know what to do, or the ones that I love are, well, we just won’t be on Twitter, we’re just going to make sure that we just we don’t participate there. So if you don’t think people are, are not talking about you, because you’re not there, they’re just, you’re just not there to hear it. And I think that when you look at crisis and you look at leadership, you know, leaders should be immediately trying to look at anything, whether it’s the buildings on fire, or you just send out an email that has a curse word in the first paragraph, which has happened, not on purpose.
And you have to immediately sort of pause and go,
Okay, first, let me figure out, you know, where’s, where’s the place that I need to go to get this situation resolved, and then figure out damage control, like how many people saw this what’s going on, you can get to the blame. If there needs to be blame or accountability. You can do that later. Once you get the situation on Control, you can then stand back and go, Okay, let’s take this apart. I love to take apart my own failures. And I love doing it in front of other people, because they’re going to see things that I don’t see. But is fantastic if you have the sort of the guts to do it, to be able to be say to yourself and to say to others. Wow, I didn’t do that. Well, wow, that wasn’t a great communication. Wow, I want to do that. Can we start that conversation again? Because I don’t think this is going down the path that neither of either of us really wanted to go down. And to be able to have the the leadership or the vision to be able to pause it. And to sort of figure out, you know, where things are going off track and how do you teach other people on how do I learn in the process.
So failure for me is
should be built in to everything that we do because it happens it’s a part of life and what we can learn from that failure those mistakes is important. And don’t throw the whole thing out, you know, something happens, the whole thing is not a failure, a piece of it was a failure, you know, there there is something that’s bound to come out of whatever was done, that will that will be a learning opportunity that will be better, that will help you be better in the future.
Ben Pankonin 48:18
That’s a great thought. So when we think about the leaders around us to your positivity is infectious to think about how do we, how do we commend them when things are hard? And I think that’s a that’s a tough thing. How do you feel like you do that?
Dani Chaney 48:38
You know, there’s a, I’m sure everybody’s, most everybody has understood or heard the golden rule, and you know, do unto others as you would have done unto you. And so that’s what we’ve pretty much lived by, you know, for forever and ever and ever is, is treating people well, because that’s how you want to be treated back but now we have the Platinum rule. You know, been upgraded to platinum. And I would like to say it’s because of digital, it’s I’d love to say it’s social, I’d love to say it’s I’d love to point fingers and say it’s millennials or Gen X or whoever. But the Platinum rule is Do unto others as they would have you do unto them. So treat people the way they want to be treated. And as a leader, as a person, in any kind of capacity where you’re working for others, you know, it might be a good thing to treat them the way you want to be treated, but how about figuring out how they want to be treated and treat them that way? So you may not have the best experience with someone that you’re uncomfortable with. So you know, you may choose to not to be polite, but not digging, you know, not ask any personal questions or whatever. Or you could look at someone and say, Hey, whether this is an employee or this is a customer, this person really likes it when you know when I ask about their kids, or this person really likes it, when I Talk about things other than banking or the meeting at hand or whatever. I mean, the Platinum rule is really kind of where it is. And it’s from a from a leadership standpoint, as well as as an organizational standpoint is, people want to know that they matter. And they want to know that they’re heard. And that by treating them the way that they want to be treated means that they’re being heard.
Ben Pankonin 50:24
Great thoughts. Now, a lot of the people on our webinar, have marketing roles within community banks. And, you know, one of the things that that you’ve demonstrated in leadership is that through good leadership, you’re able to elevate the role of marketing within icba. And I think there’s a lot of lessons in that for for all of us. We’re doing marketing tasks to understand what what it takes. to elevate that role of marketing, how do you feel like that’s, you’ve been able to accomplish that? And what have you learned in that process?
Dani Chaney 51:10
I think that, and I say this all the time, everybody’s a marketer, whether we’re designing a brochure, or we’re coming up with a campaign to promote our convention, it could be somebody at our front desk, it could be somebody that helps clean our office. They know what color the brochure should be, they know exactly how it should be folded. They know the design, they know everything. And it’s important. I think that you know, when those people are all, you know, if you look at people and go, okay, everybody’s a marketer, we want to, we want them to keep their crayolas in the backpack and let us do our job. And most of the time, what, what we find out in that process is that if we come to a meeting with somebody That we’ve designed and we didn’t take in any input from other people before we started designing it. That’s when everybody starts pointing fingers and saying well that that color should be this. And we should have buildings behind. And we should have people and the groups of people should be in threes and not fives. And it is fascinating if you do the homework up front, and it can’t be done in every situation. But if you go to people out and bring them something that you’re thinking about doing and you say, what do you think would make the biggest impact with our members? If we were to reach out and somebody would say, well, you need to include people and need to be diverse. Great. And then you go to somebody else that’s going to you, you know, that you’re gonna be presenting to and you go, well would be, do you think we should include in this will the content has to be sharp, like it has to be not too wordy, but it’s got to use these three words because that’s what’s really buzzing right now, you know, in what’s going on in our industry. Great. We’ll do that. So that when you bring the draft product forward for people to Look at, you can actually point out Look, we used this group of people because we understand that people are something that our people are in dB in this brochure, or here is the the content that we created. And we really did our homework and we looked up. And we found that not only were there three words that we
wanted to use, but here are the
here are two sort of graphs that we could put along that would go with it, so that it could actually amplify the message. So those people who don’t want to read can look at the pretty picture. Does that mean that somebody’s not going to then comment and say, well, the people should be older, they should be younger? No, but it does allow to have marketing be more open at the beginning, and it allows it demystifies marketing so so many people look at marketing as you’re the you’re the brochure people or you’re the people that build our website, or you’re the people that you know, create the campaigns that bring you know that bring people In the door to ask about a particular loan product or service. Well, we’re more than that we’re revenue generators, you know, we’re creating the look and feel and the sort of the visceral reaction to our brand. You know, we’re, we’re you, you know, marketing is like it, we touch everybody in the organization. Everything we do involves something that somebody else in the organization is doing. And we’re just bringing it together distilling it, and making it interesting for other people to want to look at your customers or whoever you’re trying to communicate to. So, I would say to to anyone in a community bank, that is trying to elevate marketing, you have to be able to give the reason why you should be at the table in the first place. You know, it’s been years here of saying, I appreciate you know, creating this new event, but it sure would have been nice for marketing to Vince’s at the table when the event was being created, so that we could have heard what ideas and sentiments were going around so that the end result the product that we were going to be promoting, actually, in the marketing actually work together and they looked the same. And it wasn’t, it wasn’t they were congruent with each other. And that wasn’t some synthesized version of five people in a room one person went to marketing and said, here’s what you need to design. And then we bring the design back to the five people and they’re like, Nope, that’s not it. That’s doesn’t look anything like we were doing. So I think being able to show the value of marketing, it is an ROI but it’s also the being able to get feedback, you know, from the people who receive the marketing. So when you get a compliment when someone says, You know, I joined your bank or I came to your bank because I love your logo. You know, that happens, believe it or not, I actually changed banks because of that. It’s, the logo was amazing, and they were close by and I really wanted that, you know, that logo on my debit card. Back in the day when people were really looking at debit cards and they went with the generic plastic because no one wanted to put the thought into or the expense into developing a debit card that was branded to the bank. You know, that’s something you put your hand on every single day. It’s something as you open your wallet, that card is staring you in the face. And you should put a lot more thought into that that card because it’s something that that that your customer is going to physically lay down in front of someone else or push into a machine while the person behind them watches. And if it’s a gorgeous card or it’s a car that really stands out. There’s going to be that tap on the shoulder that it’s like we’re we’re to bank that’s a great card. It could be your most outstanding, you know, marketing device you’ve ever had. And it’s something that’s just that many times people just go like, yeah, it’s just a debit card. We can get the generic plastic. It’s fine.
Ben Pankonin 57:01
That is so so much packed into this. Chris. So you know, on Twitter, there is a whole conversation going on to make sure that this is recorded because people are taking notes and it is being recorded. For all of you, Chris, those are awesome thoughts about elevating the role of marketing, which honestly, I think apply to any role your ad in the bank, but I think for those of us that have marketing roles, that is, is just great career advice, but also advice to really move things forward for the institution’s we’re working for so I completely appreciate that. And there is so much depth to thought here. Throughout this this webinar, we are recording I will send an email out to anybody who’s registered so that they can follow along and and hopefully share with a lot of the other leaders within banks, but I would love to hear if you have Have any other closing thoughts for those, those people within community banks and and advice or closing advice for them and leadership.
Dani Chaney 58:10
So I would say, you know, get yourself a mentor. And if you are in a place where you can mentor somebody else after you, you know, as you’re sort of moving along, there is no level in which you’re in your career that you don’t have information that is valuable someone else. So I think it’s really important. Don’t Don’t think of mentoring as something that you have to do. When you get a certain age or you reach a certain title. It’s, it’s just critical for all of us to be able to share amongst ourselves and to be able to, you know, give each other that that that trust that we trust each other to be able to share, you know, our career experiences, and be real about it. You know that working for certain people is really difficult, but there’s something to learn and working with difficult people. You know, businesses change banks get bought banks get, you know, banks start new banks, everything is everything is sort of in flux. And you have to be able to be able to, to change with that. And it’s even better if you can be the catalyst for the change. So I was gonna say, I was sitting, I just pulled up Twitter, and I was looking, I was thinking, oh, there’s one more thing I wanted to remind people with, from a marketing standpoint, you know, something so small, can result in something so awesome. You know, I challenged a bank, the bank of San Francisco, they call it one day, and they wanted to talk about what they could do to differentiate themselves in their marketplace. And I said, Why don’t you have stickers created that you can put on all the small businesses that you do the financing for? Or that you’ve lent money for, and just put on there another small business financed by Bank of San Francisco. Now, I don’t know whether they ever did that or not. But I will tell you that was a stroke of genius because I brought it up over and over and over again, and I want to know that A bank is out there in the world doing it because it’s like, it’s like the Dean of the dealership on the back of your car. You didn’t ask him to be there. But you look at the car in front of you every day at the stoplight, and you know where they bought their car. And that plants seeds, I would say, if somebody walks into a business, and they’re like, God, I love this place. I would love to be able to do this myself. Your name is on the bottom of that door that says another small business financed by your bank here, you know, and they now know where to go. There’s your ROI. Now you can go back to your boss and say, You got two small business loans as a result of a sticker that cost you $1
Ben Pankonin 1:00:40
I love it, Chris, and thanks for giving us a great ROI for our hour here. I feel like you packed so many different tips and advice. For those of you taking notes. We’ll send out the recording But truly, Chris, thank you for sharing with us. Thanks for sharing your passion clearly You are an engaged leader. And we are excited to be a part of that. And I hope that that inspires many more of us to be engaged leaders too. So thanks again for joining us, Chris.
Dani Chaney 1:01:12
Thank you so much for the opportunity. It was awesome. I can’t wait to read all the tweets now.
Ben Pankonin 1:01:18
We’ll catch up with you on Twitter here in a moment.
Unknown Speaker 1:01:21
Transcribed by https://otter.ai