Every company and every nonprofit has a leadership culture. When we’re looking for leaders within our organization, or to bring someone from outside the bank, our top priority is to find someone who exemplifies our leadership culture.
If I had to define our leadership culture – which drives our values, how we see and treat our customers daily, and how we seek to lift up these communities where we live and work – it would be the concept of servant leadership. That doesn’t mean we don’t look for team members who can drive us to greater profitability and support innovation. It simply means that these leaders must first love other people, be service-oriented, and routinely put the needs of others ahead of their own.
In today’s world, maintaining a culture of servant leadership isn’t always easy. It takes a lot of humility, a big heart, and a daily commitment to behaviors that foster trust and respect. We have very high achieving leaders at Merchants & Marine Bank. But none of our leaders flash their business cards like badges and use their titles to order our team around. Instead, we see our titles as reminders of our increased responsibility to serve those around us. We work to lead by example. We strive to be bold, to have courage in difficult situations, and to be a buffer for our team members during tough times. Ultimately, our leaders are always willing to do the unpleasant things, if they need to be done, because we believe our roles give us that responsibility.
We regularly remind our team members that leadership is not a license to do less: leadership is a responsibility to do more. So, when we’re looking for leaders, we’re looking for people that are willing to routinely do more than what’s expected. Not for their own personal glory, but for the betterment of their team, and our bank as well.
From our executive leadership team to our front line managers, there are many incredible examples of servant leaders throughout the ranks of Merchants & Marine Bank. These servant leaders, and the teams they guide, are the real secret to our bank’s continued success.
Written by: Clayton Legear, President & CEO