Last week I had the privilege of attending the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) annual convention in Las Vegas. Always a well-orchestrated event, this year it held special meaning, as The New Washington State Bank (NWSB), Charlestown, Ind., was the Grand National Award winner of the prestigious 2013 ICBA National Community Bank Service Awards. The bank, represented by President and CEO Pat Glotzbach, was selected for its work in partnership with New Hope Services of Jeffersonville, Ind., and the Indiana Bankers Association for financially serving and aiding victims of the deadly March 2, 2012, tornadoes in southern Indiana. Although Pat tends to shrug off the attention and recognition, NWSB was a deserving winner, setting the bar high for community bank leadership in both good times and bad.
Coincidentally, while I was flying to Las Vegas and during some free time while there, I read a book given to me and the other members of the IBA board of directors by Joe Pierce, president and CEO of Farmers State Bank of LaGrange, Ind. The book, LEAD … for God’s Sake, is a parable about leadership, specifically about finding the heart of leadership. It is a quick and insightful story written by Todd G. Gongwer, himself a Hoosier.
With the book’s message as a backdrop, when I experienced the award recognition for The New Washington State Bank, I was struck by the heart-led leadership shown by Pat Glotzbach and his team. Then I realized that Joe Pierce had demonstrated heart-led leadership when he gave a copy of the book to each member of the IBA board. And then I was inundated by a flood of memories of hundreds, probably thousands, of examples of heart-led leadership I have been blessed to witness by bankers throughout my lengthy career.
On all levels — community, state and national — bankers show heart-led leadership daily. It has been my good fortune to work with these fine people, and their leadership examples make me determined to work harder still so that IBA represents them well. These stories of heart-led leadership are what we all must do a better job of reporting. As disinclined as most bankers are to brag, and I understand the reluctance, bankers simply must initiate public awareness of their good deeds.
IBA recently published the results of our biennial study of contributions and charitable service provided by the Indiana banking industry. I hope you have had the opportunity to read it. I also hope you will share it, and your own unique story, with local media and your customers.
Just as Pat has been recognized and Joe has shared his impactful book, all of you have a story worth recognizing and sharing. Thank you, Indiana banking community, for your heart-led leadership!