Presidential Lessons for Community Bank and Credit Union Leadership Training

Sean Galli
Presidential Lessons for Community Bank and Credit Union Leadership Training

You aren’t cutting deals with Congress. You aren’t Commander-in-Chief. You aren’t running a country. But you are a leader. People look to you for direction and inspiration. They follow you, and you have a responsibility to lead them well.

America’s presidential administrations have lessons (both good and bad) that can help inform your community bank and credit union leadership training.

Here are three examples of presidential leadership and what you can learn from them.

1. Warren G. Harding

Let’s start with an example of what not to do as a leader.

During the early 1920s, President Warren G. Harding had a seemingly good record as the country pulled away from WWI’s postwar depression. However, scandals flourished during his administration (such as the infamous Teapot Dome scandal). When Harding heard members of his administration were engaging in graft, he floundered and failed to address the scandals out of fear of public exposure.

Lesson: As a leader, the buck stops with you. You cannot control everyone’s bad actions, but you must take responsibility for stopping them once you are well informed. Be less concerned about what others think of you and more concerned about what’s hurting the consumer.

Make sure your community bank and credit union leadership training teaches these important principles of responsibility and courage.

2. Dwight D. Eisenhower

Although having his mistakes (all presidents do), President Dwight D. Eisenhower was an incredibly popular leader. His trips around the world frequently involved crowds of enthralled onlookers cheering "Long Live!" Some of that popularity emerges from his "people productivity" – an incredible knack for meeting the needs of others each day.

As Secret Service Agent Clint Hill notes, "At times it seemed like the Oval Office had a revolving door, he was able to fit so many meetings into a short amount of time…yet still manage to play golf on an almost daily basis."

Lesson: Your community bank and credit union leadership training shouldn’t only teach productivity…it should teach the right kind of productivity. Your time is valuable. Make sure you aren’t wasting it on menial tasks when you could be meeting with people and helping them solve problems.

And don’t let it completely consume you. Like Eisenhower, you need an outlet so you can continue pouring into others each day.

3. Abraham Lincoln

What isn’t a good leadership lesson from President Abraham Lincoln? Truthfully, it’s hard to choose just one thing. But today, let’s go with his humility and decency.

Lincoln welcomed his former political rivals into his cabinet…what many would consider to be a poor decision. But as historian Doris Kearns Goodwin says, "His extraordinary array of personal qualities that enabled him to form friendships with men who had previously opposed him…can also be impressive political resources."

Lesson: You don’t need to exclude people who disagree with you. Your community bank and credit union leadership training should teach the value of having diverse, more experienced people in the room. It adds greatly to your discussions.

Simply practicing kindness, patience and the other positive qualities Lincoln brought to his cabinet relationships can transform an opponent into a friend with different views.

Do you want more leadership lessons? Book a free consultation today and enlist On The Mark Strategies for your community bank and credit union leadership training.

Sean Galli
Marketing Coordinator