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I’m always astonished how difficult we make the Chief Lending Officer’s job. 

Video: Are You Properly Utilizing Your Team’s Skills?: A Chief Lending Officer Case Study

We tell essentially this wonderful human being, who is probably good at credit, “hey, you’re in charge of finding your team members”, “you’re in charge of making sure you’re onboarding them and making them strong”, “you’re in charge of all the account management of the current existing customers and all the activities around that”, “you’re in charge of making sure credit quality stays up”, you’re in charge of making sure business development is happening”, and “you’re in charge of making sure you’re handling the sales administration so that the funnel is accurate, properly conveys and can be balanced out when you show it to the board.”

The list goes on and on…

Here’s the problem. No Chief Lending Officer is a perfect human being.

Many of them who are good at a couple of those things can’t be good at all of those things, and it’s not their fault.

The problem is in the way that we have structured organizations. Who made up that crazy rule that a Chief Lending Officer is in charge of all of those things?

I can’t even tell you how many dozens, or probably hundreds, of Chief Lending Officers’ jobs that I’ve saved over the years, when a CEO will call me, just fit to be tied because this person isn’t doing part of his or her job.  I basically talked them off the ledge and talked to them about having a TEAL organization, a structure which allows for different people, in a more circular fashion, to own different responsibilities within that structure and align that to their emotional intelligence.

Why not do that to make sure that instead of having somebody who’s struggling in the job, you can instead use their best skills.  At the same time, you can be developing other people so they can be rounded out within that circle to be floating from being the drill master to the sales administrator to the person who runs the sales meetings. The list goes on and on, but now you are developing many potential regional managers, and many potential chief lending officers for the future as your organization grows.

So, let’s consider challenging, not just the thought pattern we have around structuring a Chief Lending Officer’s job, but around every position within the organization.

I think that’s the answer to successful banking these days—to make sure that we take good people and utilize them in the best possible way, in a way in which they’re set up to win.

– Roxanne Emmerich

Please watch the video above and share it with your exec team and board.

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