Executive Letter: Identifying Your Emerging Leaders

By Rose Oswald Poels

As we begin a new fiscal year at WBA, there are many areas of focus that we continue to expand on and advocate for. From economic inclusivity to fraud prevention, this is bound to be another productive year of growth, change, and impact. But all this progress would not be possible if not for the leadership that is so prevalent in our industry.

The leaders at your banks are more than the presidents, CEOs, or members of the executive team. They are all the individuals who come into work with the intention of making a difference, whether it be through their customer service, their innovative approach, or their clear vision of success that goes far beyond their own development. Most notably, many of our future leaders in banking are still in the process of establishing themselves as such. Identifying your bank’s emerging leaders is a critical step to help take their leadership skills to the next level.

Starting on June 10, our Building Our Leaders of Tomorrow (BOLT) Summer Leadership Summit will bring together emerging leaders from banks across Wisconsin. BOLT is focused on education, advocacy, and networking for the next generation of bank leaders to provide career-defining skills. With updated guidelines set in place, we are excited to offer this event in a hybrid format with the option to attend in-person in the Wisconsin Dells or virtual.

Identifying your leadership is often the easy part. Those who are dedicated, perseverant, and knowledgeable – while not always open about their leadership capabilities – tend to stand apart. Engaging their curiosity and developing important skills is a separate task that BOLT addresses through educational growth, peer networking, and leadership development. If you or someone you know is interested in attending this year’s BOLT Summer Leadership Summit, please consider registering today.

A common trait among many established leaders is the desire to grow and develop in this way, and this has undoubtedly been the case for the Leaders in Banking Excellence Class of 2020. WBA is proud to honor this first class of current and former banking leaders on the Wall of Excellence, which is on display in the WBA headquarters building in Madison. From now through Aug. 10, 2021, the WBA is accepting nominations for the next class of the WBA Leaders in Banking Excellence. To nominate a banker to be recognized as a Leader in Banking Excellence for the Class of 2021 or to learn more about the applications, please contact me. You can also find more information here.

A new fiscal year calls for new solutions to the problems we face in the financial industry. The ongoing challenges of preventing elder fraud, supporting the agricultural community through ECORA, and opposing harmful tax increases in the budget are just a few of the many issues we are determined to resolve for the benefit of our communities. With the perspective of current leadership and the addition of a new generation of leaders, these ideas will not only develop and evolve, but flourish.