2020 has been an “interesting year” to say the least.  Though many of us can’t wait to see the calendar roll over to 2021, these next few months will hopefully restore faith in our “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”  As such, we must also take time to thank those who dedicated their lives and service to protect those rights; the basis of what makes our country great!

We all look for direction or perhaps someone or something to motivate/inspire/lead us.  I pose the question, “How do you define leadership, or what qualities do you believe define a leader?”  I’m sure we all can picture someone…whether it’s a historical figure, athlete, mentor, etc.  What type of qualities do they exhibit; perhaps experience, a specific skill set, they’ve overcome an obstacle or defied adversity?  We can be leaders too, but we still need direction.

As a Commercial Relationship Manager, I consider myself very fortunate to work with great businesses and even greater business leaders across multiple industries.  Each one is defined by life experiences (both business and personal), industry expertise, and their ability to adapt to the current climate.  Nonetheless, they look for direction, guidance, support, a perspective from another angle.  The wonderful thing about the business relationship is it evolves over time, and “we” lead the charge.  Often times I say the fun part of my job is “riding the coat tails of success our businesses achieve,” but the relationships we build have more of a foundation.  At the end of the day, my customers know I have their back.  If they’re the #1 advocate of what they do or how they do it, I’m #2 right behind them.  There’s something to be said about strength in numbers.

You can call it the “community bank difference,” or perhaps how we value our customers at PyraMax Bank.  Anyone can pick up a phone, do a cash flow summary or run an application through a system and await a “yes” or “no” from some support center (who knows where).  What sets us apart though is the fact our decisions are made local.  We know our customers, we know our communities, and we know the industries we support.  We work with our customers and make their individual needs the primary focus of our relationship.  Just like our individual right to vote to choose our future leaders, our customers make a choice to walk through our doors at PyraMax Bank.  The least we can do is help address their needs and achieve their goals.  If we do our job right though, perhaps we’ll have a customer for life…at least, that’s my goal.

Every great business relationship starts with a handshake (or a nod from at least 6 feet away for the time being) and an introduction.  Years down the line, it’s fascinating to look back and see how that relationship has evolved.  Some days, your customer looks to you for some direction.  Other days you ask the customer for future business.  At the end of the day, you’re both leading the charge!