When our Firm initiates a new CEO search or Succession Plan, we work with the owners and/or Board of Directors of the client company to build an “Ideal Candidate Profile.” This profile, while useful, is a target which can seem unrealistic when you start to see real live candidates.
I often simplify the Profile to a short list of Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) that are critical. This becomes a “must have at a minimum” list. We recently produced a list of critical “musts” for a community bank CEO search. Listed below are the five traits that we all agreed were needed by any bank CEO of the future:
Ability to see local community needs and think outside the “Banker Box” to envision how the Bank can satisfy the unmet needs.
Ability to inspire all constituencies with a vision that creates value for customers, staff and shareholders.
Keen risk management skills to manage risk under all economic scenarios.
Ability to manage a wide diversity of products and service lines.
In-depth understanding of how technology is changing the marketplace.
Given enough time, some of these critical KSAs can be developed with internal succession candidates, but there must also exist within such candidates a propensity to think broadly and deeply enough to be simultaneously analytical, creative and eloquent. Often, an outside candidate is able to strengthen an already strong internal team with these KSAs.
I would be happy to present this and other succession planning topics to your owners, Board and/or your Management Team as an introduction to our Succession Strategy, Executive Development and Executive Search services. Call me at 919-732-2716 or complete the request form below and I will reach out to you.
The Community Bank CEO of the future may be hard to find
Today’s “American Banker” had an editorial called “Chief Factor in Small-Bank Survival? It’s the Chief.” No question about it! Leadership matters and while the banking industry has always been about people, the quality of the leadership has never been as critical.
The model for success in the future for community banks is changing radically. Margins will be thinner on the traditional business of gathering funds and lending them out. Costs for doing business are rising, if for no other reason than increasing regulation. Customers are shifting banking habits requiring banks to invest more in technology-based solutions. The challenges to success will be sizable. So, what does the ideal candidate profile for the future community bank CEO look like?
I am sure we don’t yet have all of the answers to this major question, but many of the features can be seen in other industries that have gone through massive change. Retail distribution went through similar change over a couple of decades leading to the development of big-box and chain retailers taking the place of the local hardware store and clothier. Some leaders saw the change coming and innovated. Some changed the channel of distribution. Some narrowed the definition of their niche. In every case, survival depended on strategic vision, detailed knowledge of their communities and customers and the leadership abilities to take their people through the wrenching change without destroying their loyalty.
The ideal community bank CEO of the future will need to have a wide array of skills and abilities. They will need a mix of technical skills and interpersonal abilities that may be difficult to find. Technical skills to recognize and analyze risk and understand the opportunities and the limitations of technology will be key. In addition, the leadership traits of visionary strategists and change agents will be essential. The CEO of the future will also need to be able to drive a sales culture and hold people accountable for results. They will need to be a community leader and a master politician to help the local community understand why he or she demands performance and is willing to turn over staff members that may be their neighbors.
We build “Ideal Candidate Profiles” for Boards who ask us to find executives, and while every organization has its unique needs, there are certain traits that are usually needed based on the executive position. We are exploring the changes needed for the future and the community bank CEO profile is one that will change dramatically. Click the button below and register for a free presentation to your Board about the CEO of the future, or call 919-644-6962 and ask for Tim.