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    Product Training? Just Google It!
    March 13, 2018
    More Training and a Google Search Isn't the Answer We recently conducted a phone shop on a community bank, asking about their current credit card promotion. When inquiring about the features on the account, we got a very interesting response. The employee...
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    Are Your Customers Seeing Beyond The Trees?
    February 28, 2018
    You can't see the forest for the trees We often hear this old saying when being reminded to step back and look beyond the trees for a real perspective on a problem or situation. But there’s another way to look at it....
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    We Treat You Like Family… The Black Sheep Treatment
    February 21, 2018
    A Perfect Opportunity for Your Bank to be Exceptional One of our mystery phone shoppers called a community bank somewhere in South Carolina a few days ago and was greeted with an automated phone message stating the following… “Thank you for calling...
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    Engaged Employees Becoming Disengaged
    February 8, 2018
    Disengagement is the enemy One of the greatest threats to the continued success and growth of your community bank is when the best employees, move from a point of being fully engaged in the culture and vision of your bank to a...
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    10 Looks To Avoid In Banking
    January 30, 2018
    Looks matter Beauty may only be skin-deep but looks matter. We all know when something looks right and we know when something doesn’t look the way it should. Going to church in your swimsuit is generally not a good look and may...
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    Fake Work Is Wasting Time In Your Bank
    January 23, 2018
    3 Time Wasters Disguised As Work These days it seems everyone is busy and there’s just not enough time in the day. Unfortunately, the last time we checked, a day still has the same number of minutes as it had 100 years ago....
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    Two Reasons Your Outbound Calling Program Isn’t Working
    January 17, 2018
    Tracking and Accountability Most community banks really want their officers and select employees to make outbound customer calls. Unfortunately for most, this desire for a calling program, with positive results, has not translated into any type of reality. What has resulted is...
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    Stop These 3 Things in 2018
    December 27, 2017
    Where do we stop? This is the time of year many people and organizations begin to think about the coming new year. It’s a time of resolutions, optimistic business plans, and revamped initiatives. There’s nothing wrong with New Year’s resolutions of losing...
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    The Work-Life Balance - Myth Busted
    May 23, 2017
    Getting more work done at work It seems like we're hearing more and more these days about work-life balance as if there is some sort of a national crisis of people working too hard. In our opinion, that's not the problem. The typical claim is...
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    Creating A Culture Of Thank You
    May 2, 2017
    It's not about me, it's you There's no doubt we're living in the age of ME. Whether it's the constant barrage of selfies on social media, texting while driving, or idiots on reality TV making fools of themselves for 15-minutes of fame. It seems...
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    If I'm The Leader... Why Is No One Following?
    April 11, 2017
    You have four options We have worked with and coached leaders at all levels in community banks and other organizations for over 25 years and have come across the leader without followers more times than we care to count. This is a...
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    3 Meeting Fails Every Manager Should Avoid
    March 21, 2017
    Your meetings will define you We're big proponents of effective meetings, whether they're one-on-one or as a team. Meetings done properly help to provide clear communication, contribute to the decision-making process, inspire innovation, and bring the team together. Unfortunately, as we all know, meetings...
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    One Simple Way To Respect Your Customers
    March 7, 2017
    The value of appointment setting Each week, we mystery phone shop community banks across the country. One common shop will include a simple customer inquiry about one of the bank's products or services. In over 90% of these shops, the bank employee will fail to do...
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    Big Smiles And Friendly Hellos Are Killing Your Community Bank
    February 13, 2017
    That Big Smile Isn't Cutting It Anymore Ask any community banker why their bank is the best in town and 99% will tell you it's because of their service and their people or some variation. There are two major problems with that statement. We know...
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    5 Ways To Spot A Leader Headed Nowhere
    January 31, 2017
    A leader with no destination is just taking a lonely walk Leadership defined in its simplest form, is the ability to rally people to a better future. What is that better future? Therein lies the problem with far too many so-called leaders. Many don't really...
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    Culture of Protection vs Culture of Production
    January 17, 2017
    Sticking with the Status Quo could be your Bank’s first step to failure Corporate culture has been a hot topic for many years. Some banks want a sales culture, we prefer an advocate or service culture. Some want a family culture and...
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    10 Ways To Make 2017 "Good Enough"
    January 6, 2017
    Doing just enough to get by It's 2017 and if you haven't botched the year already, don't fret, there's still plenty of time to totally mess it up. By now, you've already read the litany of top 10's telling us how to make...
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    Two Simple Keys For A Great New Year
    December 27, 2016
    Taking it to the next level This is the time of year many of us look back, reflect, and evaluate our performance individually and as an organization or team. We want to know what worked well, what we need to improve on...
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    Your Future Self Will Thank You
    December 12, 2016
    Selfies are saying something about your community bank People love taking selfies these days, capturing life in the moment. We're not knocking it. In fact, it can be kind of fun creating great memories with friends. People hurry to join in on the...
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    5 Surprising Things You'll Learn From a Mystery Phone Shop
    October 20, 2016
    Most community banks don't know We've been conducting Telephone Mystery Shops for over 20 years. Of course, over the years our techniques and technology have evolved with the times, allowing us to provide community banks with a valuable service that helps to...
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    Community Banks Should Stop Doing These 5 Things Immediately
    September 26, 2016
    Seriously, Just Stop! The employees see it. The customers see it. Why can't the bank's leadership and management see it? It's similar to watching an LSU football game with Les Miles at the helm up until Saturday. Everyone in the stands saw it. Those watching...
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    Cross-Selling Programs and the Customer Shakedown
    September 16, 2016
    What does your cross-sell and incentive program promote? By now we've all read or heard about the Wells Fargo incident and their infamous cross-selling and employee incentive plan. It's easy for some to blow this off as a "big bank" thing, thinking your cross-selling program is...
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    Reputational Risk - A Community Bank Crapshoot
    August 30, 2016
    Are you willing to risk it? The world of banking, in many ways, revolves around risks. Credit Risk, Interest Rate Risk, and Regulatory Risk just to name a few. A great amount of time and effort is focused on these various risks...
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    5 Signs You May Be SmartPhone Stupid
    August 9, 2016
    The #1 time waster in community banking is the Smartphone Read any survey on time wasters in business and you'll find at the top of the list, things that have to do with smartphones. If you don't believe the surveys, just look around....
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    5 Ways Your Community Bank Is Giving Up
    July 19, 2016
    Community Banks Are Giving Away Their Competitive Advantage As dumb as it sounds, many community banks are voluntarily giving their primary competitive advantages over to their larger bank competitors. The big banks have the big money behind them and with that they can out...
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    Drones in Community Banking - They're Here!
    July 6, 2016
    The Rise of the Drones! Drones, as most of us think of them these days, can be either good or bad. Amazon delivering packages via drones seems pretty cool and innovative... Good. Creepy neighbor flying his drone above your home… Not so...
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    Who Do You Fire Next?
    June 7, 2016
    It may be the nicest thing you do this week We get it, the title may sound a little harsh and some are probably thinking we've lost our minds in believing that firing someone could actually be nice, but that doesn't mean we...
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    When An Open Sign Is Really Not An Open Sign
    May 17, 2016
    Is your community bank open for business or just open? One of our team members had an interesting experience at the mall in his hometown last week. Here's his story... I went to the mall with my wife around 8:15pm, it closes at 9:00pm....
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    Community Banking Month - Are You Making The Best Of It?
    April 11, 2016
    It's your month to shine, or not The month of April is "Community Banking Month"! FYI... It's also National Humor Month, National Facial Protection Month (that's an odd one), and Stress Awareness Month to name just a few of the more than...
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    Should Your Community Bank Be Program Focused or People Focused?
    February 1, 2016
    The latest and greatest ideas of 2016 This is generally the time of year that most banks begin new initiatives in the hopes of increasing profitability or turning the tide of continued losses. Greater regulation over the past few years has also brought about...
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    Houston Area Banks - Customer Service Survey
    January 21, 2016
    Community banks losing their competitive advantage? Ask most community banks what separates them from the competition or the big banks and the typical answer is "our service" or "our people". Regardless of the answer or how your bank feels about its service, a reality...
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    Top 5 Posts of 2015
    December 30, 2015
    Looking forward to a great 2016 It's been a great year at SCMG and we'd like to say thank you to everyone that has commented, shared and followed our blog. This week we are sharing our top 5 blog posts of the...
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    2015 Community Bank Bloopers And Outtakes
    December 14, 2015
    Did that really happen? We deal with a large number of banks and bank employees throughout the year and we're always amazed at some of the things we see from community banks. We expect craziness at the big banks! But believe it...
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    Are You A "Net Gain" Or A "Net Drain"?
    December 7, 2015
    Some produce and some create extra work An evaluation of yourself and your direct reports is something that should be done more often than once a year during the annual review. Evaluation should be a daily function because if you're not improving daily then...
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    Pardon The Turkey
    November 23, 2015
    Every turkey has its day Each year, just before Thanksgiving, our government has a tradition of giving one lucky turkey a presidential pardon. Actually, each year a turkey and its alternate (there is an alternate in case the first turkey can’t behave in...
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    Another Article on How To Be A Great Leader... Seriously?
    November 3, 2015
    A leader worth following Community banks are spending a tremendous amount of time, energy and money developing a strategic plan for the coming year. Some are doing it because they have a vision for their bank and others are doing it because...
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    A Customer's Bank Eye View
    October 28, 2015
    Customers are watching and making assumptions One of our team members had an interesting experience when visiting his community bank the other day. This is what he saw... When going to the drive-thru of my community bank the other day I noticed a vehicle in each...
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    You Can't Fix Lazy, Crazy, and Stupid
    October 22, 2015
    It sticks out like a sore thumb Lazy, crazy, and stupid exists in all banks. That's an undeniable fact. Everyone knows it, but few are willing to point it out, because in reality, many of these types of employees are managers, senior executives, and...
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    Community Banking In A Selfie World
    October 15, 2015
    Forget the Millennials, fix the selfie mentality in your culture One could argue that the selfie was first introduced by Narcissus in Greek Mythology as he admired and fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. This same narcissistic, selfie mentality...
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    North Alabama Customer Service Ranking
    October 7, 2015
    North Alabama Banks - Customer Service Ranking Banks spend large amounts of money driving business into the bank. The first experience for many customers will be on the telephone. In our most recent North Alabama Customer Service survey, we were able to determine...
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    Is Your Bank's Subculture Taking Over?
    September 29, 2015
    Most community banks have two cultures and don't even know it So often community bankers spend time worrying about the competition. How do we beat the big banks? How do we keep up with their resources and technology? They worry about other community banks and...
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    Talk Is Cheap, Implementation Is Priceless
    September 22, 2015
    Think it. Say it. Believe it... But Implement It? For the past 20 years we've heard community bankers tell us, "What you're saying is pretty basic". What is it that we are telling them? We're telling them to implement an incentive plan based on...
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    The Cutting Edge of Community Banking
    September 15, 2015
    Basing your strategic plan on the feelings of a 25 year old? We read articles every week about the demise of the bank branch network and the future of technology in the banking world. While much of this is based on real numbers...
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    Does Your Bank’s Loan Acquisition Strategy Work?
    September 1, 2015
    Grow your bank at least 10% per year with an effective Loan Acquisition Strategy With the right approach to loan acquisition, significant loan growth and bank growth is going to occur. Unfortunately, many community banks take a backward approach to the process by...
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    Florida's Emerald Coast Customer Service Ranking
    August 24, 2015
    Bank of America outperforms Florida's Community Banks A first time for everything! Banks spend large amounts of money driving business into the bank. The first experience for many customers will be on the telephone. Here is our latest survey of Florida's Emerald Coast Banks...
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    King of the Losers
    August 19, 2015
    The best of the worst community banks It's amazing how many community banks seem to be satisfied with the status quo of just getting by, thinking it's a good day when the regulators don't write you up. Many are satisfied with being “good...
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    Profit Pirates Within Your Community Bank - Part 2
    August 11, 2015
    Don't be fooled by the Pirates Profit Pirates are a sneaky bunch, but if you know what to look for, they're pretty easily seen. There's a high probability that 30% of your coworkers are pirates. We'll assume you're not one of them....
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    Profit Pirates Within Your Community Bank - Part 1
    August 4, 2015
    30% of your current employees are involved in Pirate activity In today's banking environment, many community bankers are pressing for ways to generate additional income by finding new fee sources or raising fees. Some are falling back on mass marketing, while others are...
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    Top 10 Time Wasters In Community Banking - Part 2
    July 28, 2015
    Where is the time going? The dream of technology freeing up countless hours of time and allowing us to experience the mythical 40-hour work week still persists to this day as only a dream. With instant access, mobile apps, and 24/7 banking it seems that...
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    Top 10 Time Wasters In Community Banking - Part 1
    July 21, 2015
    The microwave and community banking Years ago it was said with technology we would all have more free time than ever. The microwave mentality of having technology and resources at our fingertips would reduce our time at work and with chores at...
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    The Perfect Community Bank
    July 15, 2015
    Perfection isn't necessary in the banking world of mediocrity We don't live in a world of lolly pops and fairy tales. As much as some community bankers long for the perfect convergence of having the highest deposit rate and the lowest loan rate in...
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    GNO Customer Service Rating
    July 8, 2015
    Greater New Orleans banks- Customer Service Ranking Banks spend large amounts of money driving business into the bank. The first experience for many customers will be on the telephone. Here is our latest survey of banks in the Greater New Orleans area and how...
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    Opportunity Is Knocking At Your Community Bank Door
    June 29, 2015
    The smartest community bankers are living the good life Opportunity abounds and the best community banks are taking advantage of it. Competition from the weaker community banks and the large banks is limited at best. The weaker community banks are drowning under the weight of our...
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    Top 10 Cross-Sell Excuses in a Community Bank
    June 23, 2015
    The excuse acceptor is no better than the excuse maker Whether your community bank currently has a cross-selling and incentive plan or you're beginning the process, one thing will remain constant... Excuses! Oddly enough, you'll even hear excuses from "sales" departments like commercial...
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    5 Roadblocks to Advocacy
    June 16, 2015
    Creating an unpaid salesforce in your community bank. Community banks and bankers that fail to understand the value of Advocacy are leaving one of their main advantages on the table. One of the popular terms in the community banking world is "Relationship Banking". The...
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    The Big Lie in Community Banking
    June 9, 2015
    The best of the best of the best! This is the big lie in community banking... We're the best! Ask most community bankers about their bank, their people and their service and you will be told they provide the best service and we...
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    The Oxymoronic Community Bank Leader
    June 2, 2015
    Oxymoron: A combination of contradictory words In our last two posts we discussed the Oxymoronic Community Bank Employee and the Oxymoronic Community Bank Manager. Now it's time to talk about the Oxymoronic Community Bank Leader. Here are a few more examples of...
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    The Oxymoronic Community Bank Manager
    May 27, 2015
    Oxymoron: A combination of contradictory words In our last post we discussed the Oxymoronic Community Bank Employee. Today we are taking a look at the oxymoronic community bank manager. Here are a few more examples of the oxymoron... Bitter Sweet, Plastic Glasses,...
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    The Oxymoronic Community Bank Employee
    May 19, 2015
    Oxymoron: A combination of contradictory words Jumbo Shrimp, Student Teacher, Blind Eye, and Alone Together. We define individual performance as the actions employees should take on a daily basis. If your actions don’t match up with your community bank's expectations, then guess what? You might be an...
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    Leading In Fear of the Status Quo
    May 12, 2015
    Community bank leaders paralyzed by fear You've probably heard the phrase, "Analysis Paralysis", which is basically the act of analyzing every single "what if" scenario before making a decision. The end result is corporate paralysis where nothing ever gets implemented. However, there is something else...
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    Cutting Edge Technology Shouldn’t Mean Cutting Customer Service
    May 5, 2015
    One customer's point of view Many years ago when I opened my first solo checking account I headed straight to my small town Community Bank with a reputation for great customer service. That bank lived up to its phenomenal reputation. Bank representatives...
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    5 Signs You Might Be Replaced By A Robot
    April 28, 2015
    The rise of the machines in community banking Robotics have been commonplace in manufacturing for quite some time. Automation and technology have driven much change in banking over the past decades. Now we see that actual robots or "humanoids" have entered into the...
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    Attracting Millennials: Targeting Quality Customers vs. A Generation
    April 21, 2015
    Generation stereotypes and your community bank There have been so many articles and blogs written recently on how to win the millennial banking business or how to change your bank to fit the desires and needs of the millennials. Just google "millennials and banking"...
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    When Your Perception Misses The Banking Customer Reality
    April 7, 2015
    A bird's eye view of your customer reality Every single day for the past month a little bird has been pecking at the front door of my house. He's actually pecking on a shiny metal plate attached to the door. It's kind of...
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    Does Your Community Bank's Website Meet Google’s New Mobile-Friendly Standards?
    April 1, 2015
    Starting April 21st, Your Organic Traffic Could be in Jeopardy While there are very few people who click beyond page 1 of search engine results to find what they're looking for, the vast majority of searchers will rarely make it past the...
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    Are Your Community Bank Employees Out Of Compliance?
    March 25, 2015
    Many employees are misquoting, misstating, and misinforming For 20 plus years, we’ve conducted thousands of telephone mystery shops with hundreds of hours of recorded calls. What we’ve found is that well over 75% of bank employees are out of compliance when quoting savings...
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    Loan Demand Is Up, But Are Your Community Bank’s Deposits?
    March 12, 2015
    Increased loan demand is creating a need for more deposits in community banks In the past several months, we've come across a large number of community banks that are in need of deposits to keep up with the increased loan demand of...
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    6 Keys To A Successful "Reason To Call" Program
    March 4, 2015
    Setting the stage for a successful call program in your Community Bank We've successfully implemented call programs in community banks for over 20 years. When done right, you can increase your core deposits, build on current relationships and create a culture of...
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    The #1 Motivator Is 100% Free But Very Few Are Using It
    February 18, 2015
    How do I motivate my team? With thousands of books, seminars, workshops, and training about motivation, one would think that motivating your team would no longer be an issue. Being that the question keeps coming up, could it be that managers are either...
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    Community Bank CEOs Say That 80% of Their Accounts Don't Generate A Profit
    February 10, 2015
    Why are 80% of community bank accounts not making money? New regulation is consuming valuable time and money from community banks, putting many in survival mode. While it's critically important to spend the time and assets on regulation, many community banks have...
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    Top 5 Excuses Made By Community Bank Leaders
    February 3, 2015
    Leadership excuses are killing your "Relationship Based Culture" Should a leader be feared or loved? Are leaders made or born? Wherever you stand on these questions, none of it matters when it comes to making excuses. The leader that lives by the excuse is...
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    Top 5 Excuses Made By Community Bank Managers
    January 26, 2015
    Management excuses that are destroying your "Relationship Based Culture" In our last post we discussed the Top 5 Excuses Made by Employees. Today we're looking at the community bank manager. The manager's job is to implement the vision and culture of the organization as...
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    Top 5 Excuses Made By Community Bank Employees
    January 20, 2015
    Excuses will doom your "Relationship Based Culture" Community Bankers... the little guy, the ones who offer the best service, the caring people, the local bankers making local decisions, and the list goes on. Seems like we have it all covered, but walk into...
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    Failure of the First Impression... Do You Hear What They Hear?
    January 9, 2015
    90% of customers not being served well by community banks... Most community banks don't manage telephones and it shows. Over 90% of all community banks are the same or worse than big banks when it comes to customer service. At the same time, 90%...
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    Death of the Incentive Plan?
    December 31, 2014
    We've read articles recently that incentive plans don't work. We've seen banks end their failed attempts to implement incentive plans, and we've dealt with banks that believe employees get a salary for their job so why should they get incentives. Without...
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    Be a Life Giver Not a Basket Giver
    December 18, 2014
    Trying to think of that perfect Christmas gift for your best business customers? Have you already sent a nicely decorated basket of assorted cheeses, meats and crackers or maybe an awesome can of flavored popcorn? The thought may be in the...
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    Brand Statement vs Customer Experience
    December 11, 2014
    It's always interesting to see if a community bank's brand matches it's customer experience. It's very easy to post a statement on a website with grand claims as to who you are as an organization. In fact, 95% of community bankers will claim...
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    The Elephant Killed By A Silver Bullet
    December 9, 2014
    90% of all leaders and managers seem to be hopelessly looking for that proverbial, silver bullet that will solve all problems while at the same time, magically produce record profits within the next three tmonths. After that, they're off to the next...
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    Fireman or Manager
    December 4, 2014
    Quite often managers are placed in their role because of experience and performance in a previous role. They are often the resident expert in their department. Sadly though, as a result of being the expert, a large number of managers end...
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    5 Incentive Plan Mistakes
    November 25, 2014
    In all our years of implementing and managing incentive programs, we've seen just a handful of community banks successfully implement one that was effective and profitable. Most will get something in place only to see average to below average results and many...
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    What's Your Status?
    November 18, 2014
    Our last post was about relationships so we figured we'd stay on the same track for this post. The latest news we've read states that there are over 1.35 billion monthly active users on Facebook. And if you look up any...
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    Do You Really Know Your Relationship Status?
    November 17, 2014
    I've had checking and other accounts (at different banks) for over 30 years. I've had business checking accounts for over 20 years. I've had numerous loans over those years. I've dealt with regional banks, national banks, but mostly community banks. The one...
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    Defined By Your Priorities
    October 31, 2014
    Priorities... We all have them. They're what we place first and foremost in our lives. Typically, most of us will have the four main priorities of Faith, Family, Health, and Finances (your order of these may be different). Beyond this, we all...
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    What's the Score?
    October 27, 2014
    We talk about core scoring in business quite a bit. Amazingly, far too many leaders and manager fail to understand the benefit and importance of keeping score. Every leader should have a core score for the organization. Every manager should have a...
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    Inside the Box Doing
    September 9, 2014
    We've all heard the overused cliche', "Outside the Box Thinking". People are praised and promoted for such thinking. Many equate "outside the box" with "innovative" thinking. What's also interesting about this thinking is that most of it is exactly that... Thinking,...
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    Out of Focus
    August 28, 2014
    Where is your focus? Too often people focus on the wrong things and as a result end up in the wrong place. As a manager and leader, life becomes much easier and rewarding when you're focusing on the right things. Here...
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    The Whole Truth
    August 21, 2014
    If asked, most employees in most organizations will confirm that communication is the top issue they struggle with. Whether it's gossip, not following the chain of command or the infamous "meeting after the meeting". These are the types of things that can...
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    Your 10% Are Watching
    August 11, 2014
    We've all heard the stat and there is no doubt it is a fact... 10% do 90%. Your top 10% of employees do 90% of the work or production. Your top 10% of customers represent 90% of the business and are...
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    Taking Selfies or Making Yourself
    May 15, 2014
    Thought for the day... You're either taking selfies or making yourself. It seems as though social media and mobile devices are flooded with the selfie. There's even a new TV show coming out that is called Selfie. Don't know what a selfie is?...
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    Meeting Etiquette - Are You Getting It?
    May 13, 2014
    Being an effective meeting participant. We almost didn't write this article because it seems much too obvious and way too basic. Many of us attend multiple meetings a day and have been doing this for years. You'd think we would get...
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    Yoga Casual... Seriously?
    April 30, 2014
    We came across a rather disturbing story the other day about yoga pants actually becoming part of dress attire in business. Not just ordinary yoga pants, but "dress" yoga pants. Kind of like "dress" jeans. Do they really exist? Here's the...
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    Oblivious to the Obvious
    March 21, 2014
    We've been seeing a few commercials lately from featuring a colorful character named "Captain Obvious". His objective... you guessed it, stating the obvious. The more we see this character the more we're thinking he's desperately needed in the banking industry...
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    Vampires at the Party Store
    March 7, 2014
    My wife called a party supply store yesterday that she's done quite a bit of business with over the past 15 years and has also referred many customers to as well. She asked an employee if they had a particular type...
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    Willies on Ice - Remarkable, Narcissist or Idiot
    February 27, 2014
    I saw this video the other day and wasn't sure if I was impressed and amazed or if I was just thinking that this guy is a narcissist or just an idiot. One thing is true... he is the best at...
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    February 27, 2014
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    February 27, 2014
    Aliquam id neque vestibulum, scelerisque mi sit amet, volutpat velit. Proin in nulla tortor. Quisque ultricies quam a imperdiet iaculis. Etiam ullamcorper imperdiet fermentum. Phasellus et libero vitae magna commodo auctor. Vestibulum felis ante, pulvinar convallis metus vel, suscipit iaculis urna....
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    February 27, 2014
    Aliquam id neque vestibulum, scelerisque mi sit amet, volutpat velit. Proin in nulla tortor. Quisque ultricies quam a imperdiet iaculis. Etiam ullamcorper imperdiet fermentum. Phasellus et libero vitae magna commodo auctor. Vestibulum felis ante, pulvinar convallis metus vel, suscipit iaculis urna....
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    Vimeo video post
    February 27, 2014
    Aliquam id neque vestibulum, scelerisque mi sit amet, volutpat velit. Proin in nulla tortor. Quisque ultricies quam a imperdiet iaculis. Etiam ullamcorper imperdiet fermentum. Phasellus et libero vitae magna commodo auctor. Vestibulum felis ante, pulvinar convallis metus vel, suscipit iaculis urna....
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    Sail Boats and the Status Quo
    February 20, 2014
    Take two minutes to read this article from Forbes, "Impossible Is Outdated - Here's Why". Sail boats going twice as fast as the wind blowing them? Sounds impossible, but they are doing it. The boats racing in the 2013 America's Cup...
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    It Must Be True!
    February 14, 2014
    This short clip of a State Farm commercial makes the point... It must be true if it's on the internet! As silly as this is, it's kind of sad, the stories some people will believe that are on the internet or...
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    From Terrible to Bad
    February 6, 2014
    We came across an article the other day titled, "J.C. Penny Shifts from Terrible to Bad". I guess you have to start somewhere, but I've always preferred the philosophy of "Good to Great" by author, Jim Collins. I'm sure the shareholders...
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    Got the time?
    January 30, 2014
    We all have the same amount of time each day... 86,400 seconds to be exact. Protect your time, manage your time and respect other's time. Do these three things and you'll be amazed how far those seconds will go. Protect your time...
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    The Dog Days of Managing
    January 23, 2014
    We come across articles on a weekly basis with some crazy ideas to make the workplace more productive and more worker-friendly. Here are two from this past year... 9 Take Your Dog to Work Day Tips - Believe it or not, the...
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    Proactive vs. Reactive
    January 17, 2014
    Proactive people recognize possible issues or complaints, own the issue/complaint and solve the issue. Reactive people wait for the complaint, pass it along to the next employee as quickly as possible or just kick the can down the road and hope the...
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    Trees Falling Silently On Your Profits
    January 13, 2014
    "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound"? Of course it does! If your employees are doing a poor job of handling your phones, but no one in...
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    Super Secret Grand Opening
    January 7, 2014
    I was driving by a small office building (very small) on a main road in my home town this weekend and noticed that the office area gained it's first tenant! Signs in front of the building said "Grand Opening"! There were...
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    Would you like some fox with your donkey?
    January 3, 2014
    We came across an odd article the other day about Wal-Mart in China recalling donkey meat that was tainted with fox meat. Our first thought was, "who eats donkey meat?". But then again, when in China... Regardless, it got us thinking...
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    Protecting Lousy vs Inspiring Greatness - Part 2
    October 17, 2013
    A few days ago we wrote part 1 of this two part post and mainly focused on the actions of those that are protecting lousy. In part 2, we are putting the focus on Inspiring Greatness. Oddly enough we could just say,...
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    Protecting Lousy vs Inspiring Greatness - Part 1
    October 15, 2013
    I heard a comment the other day on sports radio of all places. "Do you inspire greatness or protect lousy?" It's a great question for all managers and leaders. Are your actions and words helping the best on your team become...
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    Pushing Forward or Pulling Backward
    July 19, 2013
    It seems that in life there are two types of people. Those that are pushing forward to new and greater things in the future and those that are pulling backwards just grasping to the comfort of the old glory days or...
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    It's a 24/7 World... Keeping Up?
    May 9, 2013
    We came across this article, The Jordan Effect, which really hits the mark when it comes to focusing on your work before or after you punch the so-called time clock. We get news 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,...
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    Don't Forget the Umbrella!
    April 30, 2013
    Last night at 8:15 my wife went to a store called ULTA Beauty. I waited in the vehicle. The store closed at 9pm. As I'm waiting I see a guy cleaning the awning that hangs over the entire front side of...
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    iPads and Cutting Boards
    April 16, 2013
    Are you using what you have in the most effective way? Whether it's your team, your time or your resources or your equipment, be sure to utilize all that you have in a way that will get the most value and...
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    Which is better? Phone Call, Voice Mail, Email or Text
    April 12, 2013
    Are you sending an email when you should have just called the person? Are you sending a text when an email would have been more appropriate? Do you call when a text would have worked? How you choose to communicate, just...
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    The Royal Flush
    April 4, 2013
    There are some people that will spend more time trying to convince us of who they are, what they've done, what they can do and why they're so great, than spending time on doing the task at hand or meeting basic...
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    The Best Become the Worst
    April 2, 2013
    Check out this article from Forbes, In 42% of Companies, The Best Workers Are The Least Engaged. When reading it, think about how dysfunctional your organization or even your department is. Weak management and leadership will cause your best employees to...
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    Can you finish the sentence?
    March 15, 2013
    Saw this tweet from Marcus Buckingham today... The most successful people can always finish this sentence. "This week I will stay laser-focused on...'
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    Just when you think it's a shop, it's not!
    March 13, 2013
    A bank employee received a call the other day and thought it was a mystery shopper. Turns out it wasn't! The caller came to her branch and opened a new checking account. No surprise here because this employees is consistently remarkable...
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    The Disappearing Branch
    March 6, 2013
    My wife called our bank at 9am the other morning and no one answered the phone. She called back a little later and someone answered after the 15th ring. This is not uncommon when calling this bank. Once she reached a...
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    What Do You Expect?
    March 1, 2013
    Here's a phrase to always keep in mind... "Don't expect what you're not giving." It's probably not the most popular phrase or widely accepted phrase in the entitlement culture we live in today, but it's very accurate. Typically, most people expect way...
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    Loose Links
    February 28, 2013
    We've discussed the chain of command on many occasions and the discussion is well warranted. A great deal of destruction to your organizational culture can take place when a few loose links with loose lips do their magic in organizational destruction....
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    Planning Time
    February 20, 2013
    A good rule of thumb is the more responsibility you have the more time you need to spend planning. If you start your day without a plan the slightest problem or situation will throw you and everyone around you into complete...
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    Bottom Feeders
    February 14, 2013
    Striving for remarkable. Getting better every day. Always doing more. These are all mottos of the best employees, the actively engaged employees, the successful employees. What's the opposite of this? A Bottom Feeder. A Bottom Feeder is typically in the wrong job...
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    4 Don'ts of Managing
    February 7, 2013
    Blog Post contributed by Nolan Knight All managers have a particular style of managing. In order to be effective as a manager you must also understand that you have strengths that relate directly to your management style as well as weaknesses that parallel...
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    Stepping Up Your Leadership
    February 5, 2013
    We came across this article, 10 Ways to Step Up Your Leadership Today, which is well worth a few minutes to read. Are you getting caught up in the weeds? Are you spending too much time trying to fix under performers?...
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    Tear Down vs. Build Up
    February 4, 2013
    My partner, Nolan Knight, often tells the story of  his daughters spending hours building a playhouse out of gym mats and how his 3-year old son can tear down their work within seconds. The moral of the story is that it's...
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    This is Reality
    January 18, 2013
    Most community bankers, when asked what makes them different from the regional and national banks, will tell you their personalized service is the difference. That may be the case with some community banks, because we know a few of those, but...
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    Disconnect and Connect
    January 17, 2013
    Watching this commercial really brought some things into mind that in the age of facebook, twitter, email, etc. It's easy to let electronic media become our main or even our only form of communication and networking. It actually seems like an...
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    Postcard Stamps and the Status Quo
    December 19, 2012
    Last week I needed to purchase a roll (100) of postcard stamps. No problem, I'd go to the local post office, pick them up, be back home in a few minutes. Simple enough... or so I thought. When asking for the...
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    What Are Your Righting?
    December 17, 2012
    I've always paid attention to the phrase, "people judge you by the words you use" or "it's better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove any doubt." While those are important things to keep in...
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    Fire The Sleepy People?
    December 12, 2012
    Here's the headline of a recent article from Businessweek - "Napping Your Way To The Top". I'm at a loss... Can't say I'm overly surprised by anything I read or hear these days... but, really??? I read another article referencing this...
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    10 Worst Communication Mistakes
    November 20, 2012
    Most organizations have a problem in the area of communication. We've addressed this problem by introducing Communication Non-Negotiables such as no tolerance for gossip and following the chain of command. But there are other mistakes many people make in communicating that...
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    Doers and Waiters
    November 14, 2012
    Here's a simple truth. Leaders can be placed into two categories... Those that sit back and wait and those that get up and do. I've been around, worked with and observed both of these types of leaders and if you pay attention...
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    Lying Brand
    November 5, 2012
    Take a look at this article, "Don't Make Brand Promises You Can't Keep". Now say your brand statement out loud. Are you laughing? Are you lying? Are you comfortable saying it? Does it match what your company consistently delivers? Does it...
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    Typos and Space Suit Colors
    October 19, 2012
    Don't let minor issues get in the way of the big picture. Too often we get caught up in our own priorities and minor issues when they don't even line up with the overall objective of our organization. We allow these...
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    Talking the Talk
    October 17, 2012
    I like the old phrase, "if you're going to talk the talk, you better walk the walk". Your talk can define who you are as much as your actions can. But be very careful when your talk and your actions don't...
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    Stay on Point
    October 16, 2012
    Staying on point seems to be one the most difficult things for people to do. You'll see leaders excited about their latest and greatest initiative, only to fall off point within months or sadly, even weeks. Managers will start off well...
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    A Bad Hire
    October 4, 2012
    I read an article today, "The Mindset of Great Leaders", that had a few interesting statements on hiring that are worth repeating... We hire people based on the number of years of industry experience they have, and then wonder why our company is...
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    Let go and move forward
    October 2, 2012
    I've been watching the latest on the new iPhone 5 that was introduced by Apple a few weeks ago. Lots of good press about the phone and also many complaints. Of course, some people are never happy and will complain about...
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    Disconnecting From A Connected World
    September 28, 2012
    I read two different articles over the last two days that both had a lot in common. One was about a "Do Not Disturb" feature on the new iPhone operating system IOS6. This new feature gives you the option to set...
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    Getting Involved Might Get Messy
    September 20, 2012
    Getting involved often means getting messy. Maybe it's just me, but do you ever get criticized, attacked behind the scenes through the gossip culture or by those who skip the chain of command and create their own counter-culture within the organization?...
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    Endless Meetings!
    September 19, 2012
    Who likes long meetings and meetings where pretty much, nothing gets accomplished? Odds are you've been in one of those this week and it's only Wednesday. Take two minutes to read the linked article below for a  few tips from CEO,...
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    Ten Reasons Why People Lose Their Jobs
    September 10, 2012
    We came across this article by Thom Rainer that every employee at every level of an organization should read. If any of these 10 reasons describe you, your coworkers already know it. Don't be the last to know. Click the link...
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    Email Wars and Hot Potatoes
    September 7, 2012
    Have you ever been de-friended on Facebook or even worse, blocked? I have and it's actually kind of funny and sad at the same time. How about being given the silent treatment? Have you gotten into an email war where you...
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    Start Believing and Stop Fixing
    September 6, 2012
    A primary principle of managing and coaching is believing in your people. If you can't or don't believe an employee can succeed then don't coach him and quit trying to fix him. Managing is about turning talents into performance and understanding...
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    Working Like a Hurricane
    August 27, 2012
    In Louisiana, we're no strangers to hurricanes and with Isaac approaching, everyone seems to be pretty engaged in preparing. We've been watching the weather for a few days, following the storm track. We check our water and food supplies to make...
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    Share and Receive Openly - A Non-Negotiable
    August 27, 2012
    Take a look at this article, "The No. 1 Rule of Business Relationships". It pretty much drives the point home of the importance of sharing and receiving openly, which just so happens to be a basic non-negotiable of communication we often...
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    "Stomping Ants While Elephants Are Running Wild!"
    August 24, 2012
    I heard this quote today and thought how appropriate it was for many organizations on a day-to-day basis. It's an indictment on how the day can be spent on things that don't matter much in the big picture and quite often...
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    Leading with Principled Purpose
    August 21, 2012
    This isn't a post about firing people, as much as it is about leading, managing and doing the right thing. Leading is about doing what is best for the team or the organization and too often we come across leaders that...
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    Looking Busy or Being Productive
    August 15, 2012
    I've come across a two good articles in the last few days that are worth reading. "Fight the Urge to Look Busy" and "4 Reasons to Skip Chores This Weekend". What I got out of these articles is this... Many people...
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    Leadership Peaks
    August 7, 2012
    Have you peaked? Hopefully your peak wasn't winning the spelling bee in 3rd grade or throwing the touchdown pass in the big high school game 20 years ago. If your goal is to get a little better each day then your...
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    Stuck In a Rut
    August 6, 2012
    I cancelled phone service with AT&T the other day. At the end of the call the employee said, and I quote, "thank you for choosing AT&T"... Really? That's what I call being stuck in a mind-numbing state of a rut. As...
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    Miracle on 34th St. or Nightmare on Elm St.?
    July 31, 2012
    I remember the scene in Miracle on 34th St. where the Santa Clause tells a parent to visit a competing store for a product because it's cheaper and of a better quality there. Hey, it's all good in a Christmas movie...
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    I Swear?
    July 30, 2012
    We came across this article from Fox Business over the weekend titled, How Swearing At Work Could Ruin Your Career. Interesting article, but seriously, if you don't have enough sense not to swear at work or don't realize the negative impact...
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    5 Signs You Might Be The Last To Know
    July 26, 2012
    Have you ever moved on to a new job or a different position in your organization or with a new company only to realize how unhappy and unproductive you were in the old job? It’s interesting that many of us don’t...
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    What's Your Secret? 5 to 1
    July 24, 2012
    We don't have anything really new to bring up today, but as we're talking to different banks this week we are stressing the importance of getting back to the basics of building your business. It seems that many people want a...
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    Make a U Turn
    July 17, 2012
    It's easy to go about life and work and point out failures of others and where they need to improve. It's easy to look at an organization and point out imperfections, criticize leaders or the boss. It's really easy to see...
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    What Are You Hearing?
    July 12, 2012
    We came across a great article today, "5 Phrases That Will Get You Fired". We highly recommend you read it. If you're a manager and you begin to hear any of these phrases, you need to pay attention and act very...
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    Unfinished Water Parks
    July 9, 2012
    If you travel on I-10 about 20 minutes from where I live, you'll see a site that I and many others see on a weekly or daily basis... an unfinished water park. It seems like some work might still be going...
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    Have you done any of these things with a computer???
    July 3, 2012
    Sometimes the obvious needs to be stated... Take a minute or two to read this article we came across. Hopefully, you've never done any of these! 10 Things You Should Never Do With A Computer
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    Happy April Fools Day!
    July 3, 2012
    Ok, we know... That was a few months ago. But seriously, we keep coming across employees that must think we're all fools with the effort they are putting into their job. Do they actually think we don't notice? FYI... We don't...
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    STOP IT!!!
    June 24, 2012
    Two words of wisdom to start your week... STOP IT! This two-minute video with Bob Newhart states the "Stop It" point well. Finding it difficult to have a good attitude? STOP IT! Still coming up with creative excuses for your non-performance?...
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    A Bad Haircut Day
    June 22, 2012
    I've been going to the same place to get my hair cut for the past 10 plus years or so. And yes, Sue, et al., I do have hair (inside joke)! Oddly, the place I go to hasn't seemed quite as...
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    Stop Doing the Usual
    June 14, 2012
    We read this article, Five Things Remarkable Bosses Never Do, from Inc. Magazine the other day and thought they might be reading our articles! It's a great piece that just reinforces many of the things we coach and believe in. Take...
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    Gangland in Corporateland
    June 13, 2012
    There's an interesting show on the History Channel called Gangland. The show visits different cities and gives the viewer an inside look into the activities of notorious gangs in those areas. What I find interesting is the culture of these gangs...
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    Are You Selecting Or Fixing?
    June 4, 2012
    Here's the management question of the day... Are you spending more time selecting the right people than you are trying to fix the wrong people? By selecting we mean the recruiting process as well as the process of matching talents to...
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    I'm Here For You... Just Not Right Now
    June 1, 2012
    Most serious businesses and business people work by appointment. Need to see an attorney? You better have an appointment. Need a massage? Make an appointment. Have a toothache? Take a tylenol and call for an appointment. And then you have the...
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    Bored Out Of A Job
    May 31, 2012
    I read this article from Forbes, "Bored in the Office: Is it the New Productivity Killer?". Pretty interesting piece and something to be aware of if you're a manager. The article mentions that employees who don't know the purpose for their...
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    Stop and Smell the Roses
    May 30, 2012
    It's a common phrase and one we should listen to at times. Too often we get caught up in the day to day routine and it becomes such a routine that we get pretty good at going through it very quickly....
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    A Telephone Disconnect
    May 24, 2012
    Whether it's a community bank or a national bank, the results are usually the same. When we shop a bank branch for CD rates, loans, checking accounts, etc. we get roughly 95% just going through the motions and treating the phone...
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    Watching vs Doing
    May 22, 2012
    Take a few minutes to read this article we came across today titled, "Newsflash: Facebook isn't real life". It's a great article on watching vs doing. As you read it, think about what you're doing today. Are you proactively doing... by...
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    Incentives Gone Bad
    May 21, 2012
    I read an article the other day about a police department in Maryland giving away a $1 bill to drivers who have all occupants wearing a seat belt. Not wearing a seat belt? They'll give you informational literature and maybe a...
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    What do you really think of your customers?
    May 17, 2012
    We hear comments all the time from bankers that "we love our customers" or "we care" or "we give great service". But what do you really think of your customers? Your actions often tell the real story. We've written a few...
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    You can't win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket
    May 16, 2012
    I saw a tweet @johnmaxwellco today that asked, "What's one dream you would love to see come true?". My first thought was... To win the lottery! My next thought was it might be difficult to win being that I don't buy...
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    What are you doing on the busiest day of the month?
    May 14, 2012
    Branch Managers and Officers... Take 40 seconds to listen to this audio clip of Nolan speaking to a group of branch managers about "showtime" on the busiest days of the month. If you're a branch manager or a loan officer, what...
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    When It's Good Not To Graduate
    May 4, 2012
    I've been getting lots of graduation cards over the past few weeks. It's pretty exciting to those seniors, having the accomplishment of completing high school. Many will begin a career and the next stage of their life and many will go...
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    Mixed Up Nuts Get Cracked
    May 1, 2012
    Mixed Messages come from the Mixed Up Nuts that eventually get cracked. Are you feeling squeezed? Having a hard time keeping up with who you told what? Is your motto, "do as I say, not as I do"? Be careful... you...
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    Stop Dumping and Start Selecting
    April 26, 2012
    Conventional wisdom says you should dump all you don't want to do onto your best people while the paycheck collectors keep on collecting. We've never been accused of being conventional and we know this is a sign of a manager who...
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    Know When To Get Out The 8-Track Tape Player
    April 24, 2012
    One of the biggest obstacles to moving any organization forward is dealing with the old guard and the new guard. The operative word here is "guard". The old and new guard are guarding their own way instead of the best way. You could...
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    How Thick Are Your Glasses?
    April 23, 2012
    This video from the A&E TV show, Duck Dynasty, is a pretty good example of what happens when your glasses get too thick. I'm not much into reality TV but for whatever reason this show has caught my attention. After watching...
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    Are You Managing Them Crazy?
    April 18, 2012
    A Person's Mental Health Gradually Improves in the Weeks After a Layoff. We saw this headline today on twitter from the Harvard Business Review @TheDailyStat. It goes on to state that at first when an employee is laid off his mental...
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    Is Your Organization Squeaky?
    April 16, 2012
    We've all heard the phrase, "the squeaky wheel gets the grease". What amazes me is the sheer ineptness of leaders and managers that actually apply that philosophy to their organizational culture. In fact, it's the complete opposite of an advocate-based culture,...
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    People Pleasers = Status Quo Appeasers
    April 12, 2012
    People Pleasers are quite possibly some of the most destructive individuals in any organization. They come across to many as the person everyone likes, especially to those in leadership. People Pleasers are those in an organization that don't want to ruffle...
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    Selling Refrigerators!
    April 11, 2012
    Check out this video of a comedian explaining how refrigerators are sold. It's pretty funny but sadly this type of selling might be considered remarkable in many businesses. In fact, a lot of businesses won't even put out this much effort....
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    10 Things to Stop Sharing at Work
    April 4, 2012
    We're all about being a team player and getting to know your coworkers. One of our non-negotiables is "sharing and receiving openly". We encourage business developers to share customers to become a center of influence. We encourage team members to share...
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    A 50-Foot Waste of Time
    April 2, 2012
    I was doing a little channel surfing Saturday morning and came across a movie I've heard about over the years but never had the occasion to see. The movie was none other than the 1950's sci-fi classic, Attack of the 50-Foot...
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    Deja Vu 5 Years Later
    March 28, 2012
    I was in a pretty interesting meeting this past weekend. A leadership team invited a special, and highly successful, guest speaker to give them a few words of wisdom and direction on moving their organization forward. His key word was "Vision"....
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    Closed for "Whatever It Is Day"
    March 21, 2012
    Schools in my area are closed today. The reason... it's raining and there is a threat of a thunderstorm... really??? This isn't an area of the country that gets serious tornados where it may be best to yield on the side...
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    The 40% Leader
    March 20, 2012
    Great leaders spend 40% of their time in the field with their people. This is a primary discipline of great leadership. Unfortunately, many leaders, unbeknownst to them, have voluntarily  checked out. In other words, by not spending this time in the field...
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    Are you extraordinary?
    March 13, 2012
    Take a minute or two and read the article we've linked to below. As you read, be honest about where you are; where your team is; where your organization is. Most don't want to be be extraordinary... Are you part of...
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    Your Score vs The Customer Experience
    March 8, 2012
    Over the past 14 years we've conducted thousands of mystery phone shops. Over that same period we've had countless numbers of employees approach us saying they were "just shopped". Some were right buy many more were wrong. In fact, we've had...
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    Stop Thinking and Saying and Start Doing
    February 27, 2012
    Have you ever taken the time and listened to a state of the union address from the president? Any president? It doesn't matter who the president is, they're usually all the same. Lot's of empty rhetoric filled with emotion and promises...
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    What's the deal?!?!?
    February 15, 2012
    As a good friend of mine would say... what's the deal? P90X, The Insanity Workout, The Atkins Diet, Jane Fonda's Buns of Steel, Jared the Subway dieting guy (pictured) and the list goes on. For decades, Americans have been obsessed with diets...
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    The Bizzaro World of the Insane Leader
    February 9, 2012
    Welcome to the Bizzaro World... Where the sky is green and the grass is blue. Where everything is the opposite of what it should be. Ideally, the bizzaro world would only be seen in comic books, TV shows, the movies or...
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    Are You a Status Quo Leader?
    February 7, 2012
    As a leader, are you protecting the status quo? We talk a lot about the status quo because we are constantly confronted by its protectors. In some cases we have described these protectors as Profit Pirates and Snipers. Sometimes they are...
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    You Can't Soar Like an Eagle With a Vulture Mentality
    February 6, 2012
    We see motivational posters about soaring with eagles. We hear quotes like "you can't soar with eagles if you're hanging around a bunch of turkeys". Everyone seems to want to be like an eagle or so they say. While many say...
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    A Leader In Name Only
    February 3, 2012
    Can anyone be a leader? Are leaders born or made? We believe some people have a gift to lead and those who develop that gift become great leaders. We believe many people can be taught and coached to lead effectively. We...
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    Leading Like A Weather Guy
    January 26, 2012
    Credibility as a leader may be your greatest asset. Just to be clear, credibility is the quality of being believable or worthy of trust. This is a quality I want in my leaders and a quality I want to have as...
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    Hat's off to the great leader!
    January 23, 2012
    Great leaders spend their time taking hats off, not putting them on. If you're a leader that's a quote you should know and live by. Let's look at leaders that put on more hats. This is the leader that has to have...
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    The Status Quo Protector
    January 18, 2012
    The Status Quo is formally defined as the existing state of affairs. Regardless of whether your organization is growing, stagnating or shrinking you should never be satisfied with the status quo. In fact, if you become satisfied then you officially join...
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    90% are in the 90%
    January 17, 2012
    Implementation... without it, nothing gets done. Lot's of things get started, even more things get talked about. That's what 2-hour meetings are known for... all talk and no implementation. We came across an article this week that classifies different types of...
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    Are You "In the Loop"?
    January 12, 2012
    Communication should be one of the non-negotiables of your organization. While it may never be perfect there are things we can do to make it better. Communication issues are probably one of the top concerns we hear from leadership all the...
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    ODD - Organizational Disconnect Disorder
    January 11, 2012
    Organizational Disconnect occurs when leadership, management and employees are seeing and operating at different levels of vision. The larger the organization the worse the problem can become. 30,000 Foot Level – Senior Executives, Leadership The vision of the future is clear (or at...
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    Control What You Can Control
    January 5, 2012
    Check out this video blog of John Maxwell on Self Control. Well worth one minute of your time.
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    Flatlining and not even aware of it
    January 4, 2012
    Want to get off to a good start this year? Make sure you have a finger on the pulse of your organization or team. We read an article about Rex Ryan, the coach of the New York Jets, with his assessment of...
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    Your "Top 10's" of 2011
    December 20, 2011
    One of my favorite things about the end of the year besides the obvious, Christmas!!!, is the different shows and articles about the top 10's of the year. The top 10 songs, the top 10 movies, the top 10 news stories,...
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    Breaking Tradition
    December 16, 2011
    Tradition - Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid We love these posters at They're pretty funny and say what a lot of us are thinking at times. Many of them also make pretty...
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    The Personal Impacts the Professional
    December 14, 2011
    We talk a good bit about goal setting, vision casting and planning as it relates to your career and business but we don't spend as much time discussing the personal side of things or non-work related things. However, it's important to...
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    When Leadership and Management Collide - The Team Meeting
    December 12, 2011
    A common problem in many organizations today is the ineffective meeting. We've all been in them and odds are, several of you reading this blog have led those meetings. We're talking about the team meeting that lasts an hour or longer...
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    Give Your Team a Flu Shot
    December 6, 2011
    We just saw this headline last week... "84% of Workers Looking to Leave Their Jobs". We saw another survey in the summer saying that 32% of workers were seriously considering leaving. Are 84% of your employees going to leave your company?...
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    Are you protected from Leadership Mayhem?
    December 2, 2011
    Allstate Insuarance has a series of commercials out about protecting yourself from Mayhem. Some of them are kind of funny and they all make a pretty good point. The ad campaign has obviously been successful due to the number of commercials they've produced...
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    Do you have an A-Team or a bunch of Morons?
    November 29, 2011
    We heard an interesting comment this week from Ohio State's new football coach, Urban Meyer. He said as a coach this time around he plans to stay in "center field". He explained that staying in center field basically means to trust...
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    Money for Nothing!
    November 17, 2011
    Years ago when I was a kid, my grandfather used to ask me if I would be good if he gave me a dollar. Of course I would! He'd then ask if I'd be good if he gave me a quarter....
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    Are you cutting it?
    November 15, 2011
    We came across this article, 'How to tell a newly hired employee may not cut it', that has a few good tips on spotting an employee that may have been a bad hire. But as we read this we thought about...
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    Tips on getting your email read and answered
    November 10, 2011
    We came across this article on tips to get your email read and answered. In addition to getting your email read, these tips will also make you look much more professional as well as show others you respect their time.  Whether...
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    What do you see?
    November 7, 2011
    Every leadership book I've read, every seminar or workshop I've attended on leadership and every article on leadership that's worth anything has had one thing in common... the assumption of a Vision. What's interesting is they don't all show you how...
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    2 Minutes or Not 2 Minutes
    November 3, 2011
    We read an article this week about wasting 2 minutes (Waste 2 Minutes? Don't Sweat It). What caught our attention was the first part of the article which tells a story of how one person's actions can affect many people. Take...
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    Is it a mystery shopper or is it real???
    October 25, 2011
    When we phone shop banks it's always amazing to hear the number of employees that think they have it figured out as to when they are shopped. We've been told countless times by employees that they think they were shopped when...
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    Top 10 Reasons You Might Have The Leadership Blinders On...
    October 21, 2011
    Having your blinders on is an old saying that basically refers to not being able to recognize or accept what is around you. Many leaders today are living their careers with the blinders on and at the same time are bouncing...
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    Vision and Strategic Planning
    October 20, 2011
    We read an interesting article today that is an interview with Ari Weinzweig who co-founded Zingerman’s Delicatessen in 1982 with a $20,000 bank loan. Today, the company is an Ann Arbor, MI institution, and Weinzweig has branched out into a number...
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    Show the Love!
    October 14, 2011
    I've heard comments from employees for years saying... "We love our customers", "We give great service, it's what makes us different", "Our customers love us"... you get the idea. Over the past month I've asked over a thousand employees if any...
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    Closed For Business
    October 6, 2011
    Friday, Oct. 7th is "Fair Day" in my home town of 12,000 people. Fair Day means the fair is coming to town for the weekend and on Friday the town pretty much shuts down. The city is closed for business! Need...
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    It's still possible to walk and chew gum at the same time
    October 5, 2011
    It about drives us crazy when we hear people make the excuse of not doing something critical to their own success or the organization's success because they were doing something else. It seems as though the simple art of multitasking has...
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    More Money, More Money, More Money???
    September 30, 2011
    Take a minute to read the attached article titled "What's Better Than a Big Fat Paycheck". Many of the things in the article seem familiar to what we've discussed over the years... Things like your goals, your attitude, loving what you...
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    What are you?
    September 29, 2011
    Are you a banker or do you just work in a bank? Are you a builder or do you just happen to work for a carpenter and drive nails? Pick your business or industry and apply the same question. Years ago...
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    Human See, Human Do
    September 28, 2011
    “Imitation is the greatest form of flattery”. I’m sure you’ve heard that quote before. In addition to flattery, imitation can also quite embarrassing. Ever have a child repeat something you said that you thought was private? Think about it, you perform...
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    What are you prepared to do?
    September 22, 2011
    We came across this quote the other day by former Alabama coach, Paul "Bear" Bryant... "It's not the will to win that matters - everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters." While we're not the biggest...
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    Attention Leaders... Respect is Earned.
    September 19, 2011
    I've heard this question or something similar to it over the years... "Is it better to be loved as a leader or to be feared as a leader?" I really don't like the question that much because being a great leader...
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    Know it alls!
    September 16, 2011
    This is an old quote but still one of our favorites... "Those who think they know everything are annoying to those of us who do."
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    Is work keeping you up or getting you up?
    September 15, 2011
    Are the stresses of your job keeping you up at night? Do you dread going to work each day? OR... are you so passionate about your work and what you do that you can't wait to get up in the morning...
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    Where does the time go?
    September 13, 2011
    You can find countless articles and insight into the 80/20 rule where 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. Or 80% of your organization's production comes from 20% of your employees. If you run the numbers, the 80/20...
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    8 Things You Must Do To Insure Success
    September 8, 2011
    Ever wonder why some programs never get off the drawing board? Ever wonder why that last program or initiative failed or faded away after just a few months or even weeks? Why do some organizations seem to thrive in everything they...
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    Don't be that bank!
    September 8, 2011
    I had a friend call me today to ask where I bank. He knows I work in the banking industry and he thought I might refer him to someone. His current bank is a community bank in my hometown of 12,000...
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    What makes great employees outstanding?
    September 2, 2011
    Have you ever wondered if you're a great employee? Do you know what one looks like? Most often you can spot a great employee not because he tells you he's great but you can spot the great ones by what they...
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    Leadership and Vision
    August 31, 2011
    We came across this article (see link below) about Apple CEO, Steve Jobs on Vision and Leadership. It wasn't mentioned in the article but you can also add this into the mix... Implementation. There is no doubt that Jobs knew what...
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    Persistence Pays!
    August 29, 2011
    We hear stories every week of sales occurring after multiple contacts by the employee. Sales occurring 2 weeks to 2 years and longer after the initial contact. We also see countless contacts made with no follow up and those same employees...
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    Another Top 10 List!
    August 25, 2011
    We came across this article titled the Top 10 Reasons for Roller Coaster Sales Performance and thought it hit home with managers and employees as to why you may not be hitting your sales goals or expected minimum performance standards on...
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    Dream the Impossible Dream? I don't think so...
    August 18, 2011
    We read a blog post the other day by Seth Godin titled "Easy vs Do-able vs Impossible". When it comes to setting goals and expectations we're not seeing anyone try for the impossible which is a good thing, but sadly we...
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    Deposit Acquisition is as simple as a phone call
    August 16, 2011
    Deposit acquisition... That's what the banks want. They pay trainers with all the latest techniques and recycled sales ideas, they buy complex and fancy customer management systems and mostly they talk about what they are going to do to gain deposits...
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    Call Bank of America and waste 5 minutes you'll never get back
    August 15, 2011
    Wait until the end of the day or when no one is in your branch to listen to this recent shop of Bank of America. We were trying to get a mortgage loan rate. After spending over 3 minutes in the...
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    Be part of the 20%
    August 12, 2011
    80% of sales people make contact and recommend a product to a potential customer just one time. 80% of potential customers don't buy the product until the fifth contact. There's a disconnect here. Want to increase sales? Start following up on...
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    Management Lesson: Dealing with Employee Complaints
    August 8, 2011
    We're sure you never receive employee complaints and as an employee we're sure you don't complain. However, when complaints do arise, maybe we can all learn from the folks at When addressing employee complaints they use the "It could be...
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    Loyal is Leaving
    August 4, 2011
    After being a Directv customer for roughly 8 years, I just switched from them to Dish Network for my TV viewing pleasure. When I signed up 8 years ago I was given the NFL Package at no cost for signing a...
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    10 Techniques to Motivate People
    August 1, 2011
    One of the biggest requests for coaching or training we get is... "How do I motivate my employees"? You can view several of our past blogs for direction on this but we thought we'd pass this article along which gives ten...
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    5 Signs You Might Be Part of the Entitlement Culture
    July 27, 2011
    Like it or not, we live in an age where the entitlement mentality is rampant. Many people have a sense that they are "owed" something for just being. We won't get political and discuss the entitlement culture in government but unfortunately...
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    Two Minutes to Greatness
    July 25, 2011
    Take 2 minutes to listen to one of our favorite authors, Jim Collins, explain what he means by "Good is the Enemy of Great" (audio link below). I think we just lost half our readers! They're too busy to continue... Then...
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    Producer or Excuser?
    July 21, 2011
    As a manager and a coach, these are words to live by... Read it, Understand it, Do it. As an employee you should take these words to heart and live by them if you want a rewarding career. Over the years...
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    A Missing Link in the Chain
    July 18, 2011
    True story... I was asked by a manager to add an employee to our score report tracking system. Reason... that employee is a new hire. Within 23 minutes I was asked by another manager in a different department at the same...
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    Like attracts Like
    July 18, 2011
    "Like attracts Like"... a favorite quote of ours by John Maxwell. Want people to smile? Smile at them. Do you seem to get all the crazy customers? Maybe you're bringing out the crazy in them. Think about it... "Like attracts Like"....
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    Another installment from... This is your competition!
    July 14, 2011
    Banks spend a tremendous amount of money driving in business. Most spend very little, to no money making sure they are prepared to handle that business when it calls in or walks into the bank. This is what happens to banks...
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    What do you think?
    July 14, 2011
    Whether you're a leader of an organization, a department, branch office or a small team, you still have to lead. The effectiveness of your leadership will impact your ability to manage and it will impact other managers in your organization as...
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    What are you doing today?
    July 13, 2011
    It's Wednesday morning and the question is... what are you doing today? If you're reading this and don't have a written action plan for the day then stop reading and start working on your plan. Try starting with just three action...
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    Don't bank with us!
    July 8, 2011
    After literally thousands of phone shops, we are convinced that well over 50% of bank employees don't want new customers. In fact, many employees will actually discourage potential customers from coming in to their branch by either being flat out rude...
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    Word of Mouth on Steroids
    July 7, 2011
    Read this article on how social media like twitter and facebook can impact your business. You've heard from us countless times about word of mouth marketing. Comments on social media sites can be like word of mouth on steroids. Most businesses...
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    Fire all the Lazy People!
    July 1, 2011
    It's amazing how many lazy workers there are in the current economic environment. It's even more amazing that so many managers and companies put up with lazy people on staff. How do they get away with it?Bamboozling the Boss: When the...
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    We Are Coaches
    June 26, 2011
    Who needs a coach? If you're a manager, you need to coach. Remarkable employees seek out coaches. Remarkable executives have coaches. Take a minute to read the article linked below. Do you get it? Many People Coach; Few Are Coaches
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    People do business on the phone...
    June 16, 2011
    A few days ago I had to place an order for 500 printed t-shirts for a political campaign. To a small local business that's a pretty good size order, not to mention likely future orders. Guess what I did? I called...
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    Workplace Etiquette for Dummies
    June 15, 2011
    Check out the link below to an article "Top 6 Workplace Etiquette Blunders". These seem obvious but many just don't get it. This is a great read for any employee. Be honest with yourself and make the needed changes.Top 6 Workplace...
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    Focus on 10% to grow 30%
    June 9, 2011
    Take two minutes to listen as Nolan explains the importance of focusing on just 10% of your customers to grow your deposits by 30%.
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    Newsflash!!! Employee gets new customer from a phone call... Go figure!
    June 7, 2011
    What? A customer moves her banking and investment business because of a remarkable job on the phone? For those of you who don't think the phones are a big deal, listen to this hero story of an employee driving in new...
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    False Praise
    May 25, 2011
    One of the easiest and most valuable things you can do as a manager is to recognize an employee for a job well done. You should be looking for specific things you can recognize an employee for on a daily and...
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    May 24, 2011
    No deep meaning here... just thought this was funny. It comes from one of our favorite websites with "demotivational" posters, video and other things.DEMOTIVATIONSometimes the best solution to morale problems is just to fire all of the unhappy
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    Big Banks Losing 13 Million Checking Accounts!
    May 16, 2011
    Read this article from the Detroit Free Press and see the tremendous opportunity for your bank. Are you getting your share of these accounts? Are you seeing significant growth (10% - 15% minimum) in your bank's net number of checking accounts?...
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    You think your employees aren't losing you a ton of money?
    May 12, 2011
    This post is to all of the leaders and senior executives... If you think your phones are handled well based on what you hear walking through the lobby, you better think again. Try having one of your friends call your bank and...
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    Problems Employees? Fire Them!
    May 10, 2011
    This is an article you really need to read, especially if you are or ever want to be a manager or leader.How to Deal With Problem Employees: Fire Them!
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    Remarkable Service Matters
    May 5, 2011
    Take two minutes to read this article that references a recent American Express survey on customer service. We've been talking for years about the impact of remarkable service, word of mouth marketing and how the service at many companies is getting...
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    5 Biggest Mistakes Managers Make
    May 3, 2011
    Here are five of the most common mistakes we see managers make. These mistakes hurt team and organization performance, team unity and limit the positive impact of each employee and manager to the bottom line of the company. These mistakes are...
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    What kind of friends do you have at work?
    April 29, 2011
    We ran across a great article yesterday titled "Are Your Friends at Work Holding You Back?". Take a couple of minutes to read it. It's all about your internal network. We talk quite a bit about networking and building advocates but...
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    You might not know who the customer knows
    April 27, 2011
    I was told of a situation this week that recently occurred at a doctor's office. What made the situation interesting is that I know all the people involved. Here's what happened...A person needed to set up an appointment to see her...
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    Overcoming the "Price" Objection
    April 20, 2011
    We often assume customers are price-sensitive when 85% of them are not. Sadly, we've trained many of those 85% to be price-sensitive by being too quick to negotiate rates, by offering less than remarkable service and by not building relationships. If...
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    Don't expect to get something back that is different than what you give...
    April 13, 2011
    I like the story Nolan tells of a bank teller that said she gets all the crazy customers at her window. You know the ones... the mean customer, the unforgiving customer, the over-demanding customer, etc. In typical Nolan fashion he tells...
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    1 in 4 Managers Unprepared
    April 6, 2011
    An interesting survey from Career Builder found that 1 in 4 new managers say they are unprepared to do their job. 58% said they have received no management training. We also know that over 90% receive no ongoing management coaching.The biggest...
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    I Don't Have Time
    March 30, 2011
    Advice for the day... don't use this phrase any longer. And if you don't say it, we know you hear it fairly often just like we do. Here's the reality, we're all busy, it's just that some people manage their time...
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    Expectations and Accountability
    March 23, 2011
    It never ceases to amaze us how managers and leaders will change systems, processes, goals or expectations in order to get a different and more positive result from the same employee in the same job. Until an employee is held accountable...
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    Americans Switching Banks!
    March 22, 2011
    Take a minute to read this article (see link below). We've been stating the obvious for quite some time and this is just another article that backs it up. Banks are raising fees on checking. Customers don't like it. They are switching...
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    Reinvention, No... Management, Yes
    March 17, 2011
    After reviewing several scores over the past few days we've found a common thread. Of the branches and teams that failed to meet standard on phone shops and those that struggle to get cross-sells and those that rarely if ever get...
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    Coaching is Managing
    March 11, 2011
    We've just finished scoring phone shops for several banks. It's always interesting to see the competitor shops and how poorly they do. It's also interesting to see how some of the branches we work with consistently score above the expected standard...
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    Community Bankers... We have a problem
    March 7, 2011
    We posted a recorded phone shop of Regions last week. Today we're posting a recording of a community bank. On the Regions shop we couldn't get a person on the phone. Believe it or not that was better than getting a...
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    Relationships... Are you getting it?
    March 7, 2011
    Here's another great article on the value of the relationship. Community bankers really need to get this. Here are a few of our favorite points in the article...Cultivate an over the top customer service culture. In our words... a relationship based...
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    It's the Relationship...
    March 3, 2011
    Listen to what a senior executive, and one of our favorite bankers, of a community bank had to say about the importance of the relationship in retaining deposits.'s the Relationship
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    And the survey says...
    March 3, 2011
    Check out this press release from J.D. Power and associates about their "2011 U.S. Retail Bank New Account Study". A couple of our favorite findings...Fees and interest rates carry little weight in influencing customer purchase decisions.Banks that are not providing a...
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    Trying to get a CD rate at Regions...
    March 1, 2011
    Recent call trying to get a CD rate from Regions... Take the CD rate challenge and see if you can reach a real person!!! Regions Bank Phone Shop
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    Drive it in... Drive it away!
    February 28, 2011
    It's always interesting to see the large sums of money banks spend on advertising and marketing in order to drive business into the branches while at the same time seeing how little time and money is spent on making sure employees...
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    Jack Welch... "Lay off the bottom 10%"
    February 24, 2011
    Great article on Jack Welch, former CEO of GE... Here are a few of our favorite lines from this article. "We played business like it was a sport, you make a game of it, you field the best team and weed out...
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    Managing What Might Be
    February 15, 2011
    Take two minutes to listen as Nolan explains the role of the manager in moving your corporate culture forward.
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    Why wouldn't your customers move their checking to another bank?
    February 14, 2011
    Take a minute to read this article (see link below) from the Wall Street Journal. The "big banks" are targeting your checking accounts. After reading the article and the deals the big banks are offering, ask yourself the question... Why wouldn't...
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    Don't Take Me For Granted
    February 14, 2011
    I've had insurance with State Farm since I first started driving many, many years ago. I have auto, home and health insurance just to name a few. Anytime I've bought a car I'd call State Farm. I didn't shop around. They...
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    4 Be's
    February 10, 2011
    If you want to grow your business you need to grow your relationships. Your relationships are the foundation. The larger the foundation, the greater your capacity for growth becomes. So what's the best way to build these relationships? Here are four...
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    How long does it take to know if you have made the right personnel selection?
    February 9, 2011
    I was asked this question in an executive management meeting yesterday.  The answer is: Immediately, regardless of experience!Body language indicated that this answer was not believed by at least 7 of the 11 managers present.  I explained that when promoting or hiring...
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    Take the Lead!
    February 7, 2011
    I had breakfast this past weekend at a place called Hub City Diner. I always enjoy eating there because the food's great and the service is remarkable. Right when you enter you're greeted by a few different employees, all with smiles....
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    The Weekly Meeting... Get It?
    February 3, 2011
    Are you getting tired of the weekly scoring meeting? If you answered yes, then be careful because you may not quite "get it". We've been hearing excuses and complaints for over 15 years about weekly scoring meetings. These are the meetings...
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    Got a Minute?
    February 1, 2011
    It's amazing the difference just one minute makes. When we talk with employees about being remarkable on the phones, one universal excuse we hear for not being remarkable is that it takes too much time to do everything we ask. Sound...
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    What are you changing?
    January 28, 2011
    What are you doing differently this year? If your branch deposits and net checking accounts are not growing annually by 15% then some changes should be made. If you're not scoring consistently over 120% on your phone shops then changes should...
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    Plan on Giving
    January 24, 2011
    We've had discussions about being a "life giver" on some of our recent webcasts. Whether you have been on one of these webcasts or not, if you haven't implemented a plan for giving to your advocates you need to begin this...
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    Stupid Inc.
    January 19, 2011
    We came across this article about "Stupid, Inc." telling about some of the stupid things companies do to turn away loyal customers. Click the link below to read the article. We see this all the time in banks as well as...
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    Someone is Watching You
    January 14, 2011
    Have you ever had the sense or feeling that someone is watching you? Maybe you're having a "bad hair day" and you feel like all eyes are on you. Or maybe you're the one doing the watching, when you're at Wal-Mart,...
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    Management Defined
    January 12, 2011
    "What's the definition of management?" We asked this exact question in a recent management meeting and the resounding answer was... it was... we kept waiting... wow! No one answered. When we asked a group of managers this question, managers that have...
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    Layups and Common Courtesy
    January 5, 2011
    This is another clip of Nolan from a recent management meeting. As a manager, you can't allow your branch to miss the "layups", the easy cross-sells. You can't allow your branch to give just "good" service instead of truly remarkable service....
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    Goals for 2011
    December 30, 2010
    What are your goals for 2011? If they aren't written down and readily available for you to review on a regular basis then you really don't have goals. You might have a wish list or dreams, but you don't have goals.A...
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    Are the big banks getting it?
    December 27, 2010
    Read this article from USA Today, "Banks Smarten Up Branches to Woo Customers". Banks like Bank of America, Citibank and Chase are now saying they want to "deepen relationships". Just because they want to doesn't mean they will succeed. That being...
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    This is your competition!
    December 21, 2010
    Listen to this 30 second clip of one of our competitor phone shops of OMNI Bank in New Orleans, La. We were on hold for about 2 minutes and couldn't keep from laughing when hearing this brief statement, "where the difference...
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    Richard Branson on "THEY"
    December 16, 2010
    We talked about THEY the other day in a post. Today we read this article by Richard Branson from Entrepreneur magazine where he talks about "They". I wonder if he's been reading our blog??? Take a couple of minutes to read...
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    Ask the Right Questions
    December 15, 2010
    We've talked in previous days about finding out what your customer values. What's most important to your customer in a banking relationship. When we conduct phone shops it's very rare to have an employee ask more that two profiling questions. It...
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    A Safe Assumption
    December 14, 2010
    We've made the statement in the past that one shouldn't assume. However, we also know that there are instances where you can make a pretty safe assumption. For example if you jump out of a plane without a parachute, it is...
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    Giving your best deal to your worst customers!
    December 10, 2010
    I was recently at one of my favorite restaurants in Louisiana when I noticed a group of older men complaining to their waiter. They were upset about the cost of their beer (a fifty cent increase that had been in place...
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    C'MON MAN!
    December 9, 2010
    Former football player, now NFL analyst for ESPN, Chris Carter has a segment on ESPN's Monday Night Football show called "C'MON MAN!". Basically, Chris Carter finds a player or team doing something irrational, boneheaded or anything that just defies common sense...
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    The #1 Expectation
    December 8, 2010
    Take 90 seconds to listen to this audio of Nolan Knight discussing the number one expectation you should have, as a manager, of your employees.
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    Do As You Say
    December 6, 2010
    We've just finished another round of phone shops and the average bank out there is a train wreck. We hear the employees and just cringe... you almost have to try to be bad to be this bad. Then the funny thing,...
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    The Best of the Adequate... WoooHooo!!!
    December 2, 2010
    It's sad in the banking industry when we've come to the point of having survey questions that want to know if people are "not unhappy" with their bank. In a recent Harris Poll it was found that 41% say their bank...
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    Management Do's and Don'ts
    December 1, 2010
    Take a minute to read this article "14 Management Do's and Don'ts". It's just another source that reinforces what many of you have heard us say countless times over the years. Remarkable management is critical to increasing employee engagement. What are...
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    November 29, 2010
    Who are "They"? If you don't know who "They" are and you don't know how to identify "Them", nothing will ever change. You'll see the same growth or lack of it, the same issues, the same excuses. Take 5 minutes to...
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    Thank Your Advocates
    November 22, 2010
    Quick, name your top 3 advocates! If you hesitated, that's not good. Your top 3 should always be top of mind. They are the customers that have sent you the most (profitable) business this year. Take some time over the next...
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    Don't Sweat the Small Stuff? Think Again!
    November 19, 2010
    One of the things we hear working with different organizations is the comment... "You're really not showing us anything new. These are common sense, basic things." While we agree that many of the things we recommend and train on are nothing...
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    Don't Be Cruel
    November 18, 2010
    One of the most interesting and sad things we see in organizations is managers that keep an underperforming employee on their team when it's obvious to them and even people around them that this employee is just not qualified for the...
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    Good Intentions
    November 17, 2010
    We love this quote... "Good intentions are no excuse for incompetence" - Peter Drucker Every time you are about to make an excuse for yourself or your direct reports for under-performance, think of this quote. Then ask yourself if you are matching your...
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    Your Stop Doing List
    November 16, 2010
    Want to become more organized? Make a “Stop Doing List”.The reason for this list is to identify your most significant roadblocks to becoming more organized and reaching your goals.  Everyone wastes time but the best employees and managers have the discipline...
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    The Next 7 Days
    November 12, 2010
    Our most popular blog posting over the past two months has been a post called "Motivating Your Staff". In fact, this post has received almost twice as many views as the second most popular post. Our training sessions on motivation over...
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    Greatness is not a Function of Circumstance
    November 9, 2010
    We couldn't begin to tell you how many times over the years we've heard leaders, managers and employees say these words... "It's different here". It's the universal excuse for not being remarkable and not implementing an advocate culture. When leaders and...
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    The Last Thing
    November 9, 2010
    Have you ever heard the the saying... "The last thing you do is the most important thing you do"? I can't tell you how many movies I've watched over the years that were quite good, up until the last thing. Either...
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    To Do or Not To Do
    November 8, 2010
    Very few leaders and managers work from a list.  In fact over 80 percent do not have an updated disciplined approach to daily management.  This is the primary reason so many of you say you are “too busy.”  We have not...
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    Non-Essential Employees
    November 5, 2010
    As winter approaches I begin to think of last year’s winter. Will it be as cold? Will we get snow in south Louisiana again? I remember last year, Washington, DC got hit with some pretty bad weather on a few occasions....
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    How Effective is Your Weekly Team Meeting?
    November 4, 2010
    Take a few minutes to listen to this recording of Nolan explaining the rules that need to be followed in order to hold an effective weekly team meeting.
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    Superman and Wonder Woman
    November 3, 2010
    This is the time of year we spend in evaluation and planning. Part of the evaluation process is looking at the core scores and determining which managers are managing or not managing. During this year’s analysis we broke our managers into...
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    All Managers should read this article
    November 2, 2010
    If you're a manager you should read this article. Click the link below.Bosses Overestimate Their Managing Skill
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    Grandma's Gonna Love Mobile Banking!
    November 1, 2010
    Ready or not, mobile banking is here and it's not just for the Gen-Y'ers. Check out the linked article below. Also, take time again to read our recent post on Mobile Banking.Older Customers are Heavy Users of Mobile Banking 
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    Burn the Boats
    October 27, 2010
    Take a few minutes to watch this video of Andy Andrews “Burn the Boats”. This video can apply to all areas of life. As you watch it, think about your commitment to your company and your career. We talk a lot...
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    Be a Life Giver!
    October 25, 2010
    They key to a successful business is having a network of Advocates singing your praises. It's called word of mouth marketing and it works every time it's implemented. One aspect often neglected in an Advocate Culture is making yourself an advocate...
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    Who's Replaceable?
    October 25, 2010
    There are times as a manager and leader when an employee has to be replaced. Take a minute to listen to the audio and hear which two types of employees should be replaced. Listen to the full Q&A for this topic...
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    Being Remarkable
    October 21, 2010
    Take a quick minute to read the success story of Katie, a teller supervisor and remarkable employee at a remarkable branch, explaining how she generated business for her branch and helped a friend at the same time.Katie's Story...When our bank went...
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    There Might Be A Problem...
    October 20, 2010
    Bank of America has been losing 18% of its checking accounts annually according to CEO Moynihan. Other large banks are in the same position. If your bank is not growing the number of net checking accounts by 15% a year there might...
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    Managers Beware - You may not want to join the "rebel alliance"!
    October 19, 2010
    This is the time of year that leadership will often make decisions that may upset even the most engaged managers.  Under no circumstance should you ever express your concerns in front of your direct reports.  It is only acceptable to go...
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    A Management Non-Negotiable
    October 19, 2010
    Take a couple of minutes to listen as Nolan Knight explains a key component of coaching.... belief in your direct reports. This is a clip from a recent session on Coaching. - Belief
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    Deposit Acquisition (DAQ) - Mobile Banking Overview
    October 14, 2010
    The future of banking is mobile banking! Mobile banking is the ability to perform the majority of banking transactions over a mobile phone. The primary benefits of mobile banking are:ConvenienceTransactions are completely portable and do not require an in-person visit or even...
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    What Is Your Impact?
    October 14, 2010
    It seems like one of the most difficult things we do at SCMG is convince managers of the importance of meeting with their direct reports on a daily basis. So we’re going to rename the daily meeting to the “Daily Conversation”....
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    Hello world!
    October 11, 2010
    Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!
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    You Can't Be This Bad!
    October 11, 2010
    If you think Bank of America is your competition then maybe you're as bad as they are. We do tons of shops and with many of the big banks it's usually the same. They're horrible on the phones and they don't...
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    Don't Ignore the Phones!
    October 7, 2010
    Listen to these two brief audio clips as Nolan explains what the scores on our phone shops mean as well as what to do when an employee can't meet basic phone standards. This is too important to ignore.Phone Shop Performance Scale...
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    Add 100 basis points to your ROA for 2011 - Low cost action - The Phone
    October 7, 2010
    Be professional on the telephone starting now!Do you wonder why your latest marketing campaign flopped?  Why that new product didn't take off?  Why that new branch isn't meeting expectations?  News Flash!  It's the way you answer your phones.  It's the way...
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    Add 100 basis points to your ROA for 2011!
    October 6, 2010
    There are certain actions that are within your control as leaders and managers of community banks that will allow you to substantially add  to your net income in 2011.  Over the next few days we will be sharing a few of...
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    Motivating Your Staff
    October 5, 2010
    Take a minute to listen the audio of Nolan Knight as he answers the question... How can I figure out what motivates an employee. The member section of our website has a library of audio files with answers to many of...
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    Advocates are the Difference
    September 30, 2010
    I heard a great story this morning from one of my favorite bankers. It goes like this... There is a man running for the U.S. Senate named Joe Miller that had only 8% name recognition in his state just a few...
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    Phase I - Innovation
    September 23, 2010
    In order to implement any significant change you must follow a phased in approach. During the innovation phase you will need to involve no more than 10 percent of your employees and customers.  The team that you select (both employees and customers)...
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    I Can Predict the Future
    September 9, 2010
    I'm convinced I can predict the future. We conduct phone shops each month for many banks and I'm convinced more than ever that I can predict the score of a future shop for the majority of the managers at these banks...
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    Phase 1 - Implementing Innovation!
    September 2, 2010
    An interesting article we came across...What the Little Engine that Could and Nuclear Physics Have to Do With Ignition Strategies
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    Talk About Relationships
    August 12, 2010
    Ask your customers this question. What do you like most about your other banking relationships? It’s safe to make the assumption that your customers are doing business with other banks. Then listen. If you’re customer says you are the only...
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    Advocacy - Relationship Banking on Steriods
    July 21, 2010
    It seems as though a new article is coming out almost every day about the return to relationship banking. Many in the banking world are beginning to realize the one insurance policy that can protect them from continued regulation like Reg...
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    In A Hurry
    November 25, 2009
    My wife and I went to Sonic the other night with a friend. This friend also happens to own two Sonic franchises. When the young lady brought our order out my friend asked how she was doing. She let out a...
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    The Question
    October 22, 2009
    "How did you hear about us?"That's it. That's the question. Every employee that opens accounts at your bank should be asking this question of all new customers. If an existing customer is opening a new account, the employee should ask... "What...
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    Strategic Planning - Community Banks
    October 13, 2009
    Over the past 30 days we have been directly or indirectly involved in the development of several bank strategic plans. The first thing you notice is how many of last year's objectives were not met. The next thing you...
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    Leaders - Deposit Acquisition - Resistance is Futile!
    September 28, 2009
    To all Presidents and Retail leaders,We are now into the fourth month of our intense focus on Deposit Acquisition (DAQ). At least 80% of leadership is currently supporting the DAQ process. Unfortunately only 40% of branch employees and 33%...
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    >Are you putting the "Un" in Unadaptable?
    August 19, 2009
    >Still refuse to use a cell phone? This “email” stuff is a fad, I’m sticking with the fax machine! Still playing 8-track tapes instead of mp3’s? Wi-Fi and High-Def... what’s that? If my customers want it they’ll ask for it!...
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    Profit Pirates - That's our story and we're sticking to it!
    August 17, 2009
    Inner brandingBy Bernstel, Janet BighamPublication: ABA Bank MarketingDate: Tuesday, April 1 2003While trying to institute any new initiative in your bank, you're bound to run into the profit pirates. These are the "We've tried that before and it didn't...
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    Top Bank - Relationship-based Customers Only
    August 6, 2009
    I spent the morning at a bank we have been working with for the last 6 years. This bank's current net interest margin is 4.45%. The primary reason for such top performance is that they focus on the relationship-based...
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    Are the phones that distracting?
    August 5, 2009
    I've done a few phone shops over the past couple of weeks and every time I do this I become more convinced that over 80% of employees view the phone as a distraction instead of an opportunity. Many times the initial...
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    Coaching - Procrastination
    July 31, 2009
    I just got off the phone with a senior banking executive who asked me how he can prevent procrastination in his division. My reply was that procrastination is a sign you have a misplaced task. We...
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    Are You Working In A Construction Zone?
    July 17, 2009
    Do you ever feel like you’re working in a construction zone? Many organizations have so many road blocks and speed bumps within their doors that the flow of productivity can come to a screeching halt or at best move at a...

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