How to Surround Yourself with the Right People

How to Surround Yourself with the Right People

Where can you find a psychologist, a family historian, a teller and a marketing manager all in one company? You might be surprised to know that at U.S. Bank, we have employees filling all of these roles – and many more you’d never guess were part of the financial industry.

We’ve discovered that it’s not just important to find people with the right qualifications. Look beyond the resume to understand whether the candidate projects an innate ability to roll with the tide and learn new things. These are skills that can sometimes be more important that those with a traditional fit.

I asked one of our best middle-market lending relationship managers, Steve Mullinger, the other day whether he aimed his career for the banking industry. "Absolutely not!" he told me, laughing. Steve is great at what he does – he has an educational background in finance and accounting, and has succeeded in financial advisory roles at major companies around town, but the thing that sets him apart from everybody else is that he’s been in his customers’ shoes before.

You see, after stints clerking, advising and analyzing in the finance world, Steve actually owned and operated a chain of hotels. When the recession hit, the hotel business suddenly didn’t look so promising. As luck would have it, Steve was a customer of ours at that time, and he confided to his banker that he was exiting the hotel venture. We promptly offered him a job.

The variety of backgrounds our employees have allows our teams to approach challenges in creative ways, setting us apart from our competitors and making each day at work an exciting exercise in problem-solving.

Did you know that our own Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Davis actually started his career at this company as a teller in California? He took the job as he worked his way through a degree in economics, never expecting that the career moves he made along the way would lead him to Cincinnati and now Minneapolis, where he runs the company and advocates for the community.

His willingness to learn new things and embrace those waves of change that life sent his way are traits found in our best employees. That nimbleness is something you find when you look beyond the basics for talent to fill the roles you have available at your company.

Get rid of the stereotypes associated with your industry (stodgy, serious banker, anyone?) and look for outside-the-box solutions to your hiring challenges.

For all our team’s varying interests and specialties, one thing’s the same across the board -- our employees have the same fire in the belly. This passion and drive doesn’t just help U.S. Bank’s bottom line; it makes a real impact on the community.

Through volunteerism, board leadership and nonprofit support, our employees know that spending time with people, doing work that’s meaningful to them and helpful to the community, makes Cincinnati a great place to live—and work.

Some skills we need as employers can be taught, but employees who are willing to learn, to take initiative and to think outside a box make the difference to your company’s culture. You never know when the right breath of fresh air or an outsider’s aptly timed brilliant idea will turn out to be a game-changer for your company.

R. Michael Prescott is the President of the Cincinnati market for U.S. Bank.

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