Saturday, October 29, 2011
It has taken some weeks to begin detachment from my current role as Regional President. Not to mention that fact that we have lived in this same house for almost 10 years, raised our children here and call this home. The most significant negative feeling is leaving many individuals I have come to trust and rely upon. These are people who have been loyal to our purpose and never wavered. They were unselfish and relentless in carrying out the mission of the organization. THANK YOU! We accomplished many goals, but will claim as our single most enduring achievement establishing a standard of client service superior to ANY financial institution in the Greater Washington DC area. BELIEVE ME, in the fall of 2005 we had accepted a low expectation as being on par with a market like D.C. We decided to change reality and within 24 months we achieved world-class scores.
On 11-7, I will assume the responsibility over our Multicultural strategy. I have been involved within this effort since 2001 when we began to understand the needs of the growing Latino community as well as the significant diversity of our markets. In 2005 I brought a professional to the organization that has put in place the infrastructure and functionality we now enjoy in serving and growing these segments within our foot print. Now it is time to take it to the NEXT LEVEL and I will be taking responsibility for the internal and external efforts at serving these economically significant groups from DC/Maryland/Virginia south to Key West, Florida and west to Dallas, Texas. I intuitively "know" what to do as I have been a student of the evolution by immigrant communities since the early 1960's when my father first came to the US from Costa Rica. Some years ago I introduced and taught a course at the ABA's Stonier Graduate School of Banking named "Marketing to the Hispanic Population" which became "Banking the Unbanked". The class attracted maximum attendance given the breath of the speakers from The Pew Hispanic Center, Migration Policy Institute and Urban Bank to name a few. I will never consider myself a subject matter expert on anything; the learning is continuous and challenging and must be so we can begin to understand the given reality.
What I do understand is that humans, the world over, react positively to respect. A process of culturally conversant engagement provides the respect I am describing. In my world, helping individuals and firms gain greater awareness and knowledge, and therefore becoming more knowledgeable clients, can cause significant and positive change for these individuals, families, firms and communities. I am reminded of the untimely passing of my father at age 52. He assumed he would live to 103 like his grandfather and at least to 82 like his own father. He died with 2x salary as his sole insurance benefit. I guess it was his responsibility to have had better coverage; or maybe it was a failure of his financial advisors to assess his situation. I think it was the latter. In my organization we take responsibility for making our clients and new friends aware of solutions which are critical in order to accomplish their most significant life goals. I am proud of my organization for this and many other reasons.
Change happens and it must be anticipated and seized. We are fortunate to have prepared our children, now in college, to live full and impactful lives. That period of our life is now behind us. Now comes this cycle, and even though it has been much anticipated, it comes full of expectations, enthusiasm, some fear, and lots of hope of what will be accomplished. I live in a world of pure economics, where supply and demand are in constant flux - there has always been plenty of supply and our job is to engage the demand on a higher quality continuum arrangement, which is rarely price driven. Thus my new opportunity is about economics first, but equally so and over time of greater impact, is the morality of our purpose in serving these communities proactively. I recall the positive impact my father had as founder of the Latino community in western NC. The NC based Latino Diamante Awards recognized him posthumously in 2003 for his leadership. Recently I was taking a tour of the Spanish Center of the Arch Diocese of Washington. Fr. Mario was our host and at the end of the tour I asked him for a few minutes to share my new area of responsibility. He told me that "things happen when they are ready to happen and to walk through that door; your organization will benefit, but so will many others".
There is considerable ego contained in the positions we attain, not because of the status it reflects, but because of our own awareness of what it took to get there. I find myself at an interesting time.
In the final analysis, your attitude determines your effectiveness in everything, every time! LGL www.LuisLobo.Bizwww.LuisLobo.Biz