2017 Extraordinary Banking Awards

Advice for Community Bankers and the Rest of Us

Roxanne Emmerich is a long-time friend from my participation in the National Speakers Association.  Roxanne has been a consultant to community banks for many years, and a few years ago, established The Institute for Extraordinary Banking.  For the last couple of years, I have served as an independent judge for the annual awards that are granted by The Institute.  The awards ceremony was a great event! From left to right in the following picture is Ken Derks, a fellow judge from Equias Alliance, Roxanne, and me.

Ken Derks Roxanne Emmerich Chris Mercer 2017 Extraordinary Banking Awards


I haven’t written about it on the blog, but I’ve taken up pickleball in the last year or so.  One of the highlights of the conference was playing pickleball with David Duhaime, Roxanne’s husband.

David Duhaime Chris Mercer 2017 Extraordinary Banking Awards

Advice for Community Bankers

Roxanne had some pretty “no holds barred” comments for the assembled community bankers in the session I was able to attend.  I’ll just list a few of the nuggets, which are worthwhile not only for bankers but for all of us in business.

  1. Don’t think you are doing well unless you are exceeding your market by a good margin.
  2. You need to plan on increasing profits regardless of the economy.
  3. Disneyworld focuses on intentional congruence and their customers’ entire set of experiences.  We should all do the same in our businesses.
  4. The banking game (like all businesses) is all about revenue.  Roxanne wants us all to be Chief Financial Officers focused on revenue rather than Cheap Financial Officers focused on saving our way to success.
  5. Your Top 100 customers should be kissed on the lips until they chap (Roxanne is a beautiful lady, and can say this, but we can all adapt!).  The point is to pay attention to your best customers.  They provide the bulk of your profitability in virtually every business.
  6. Tie everyone in some way to profit.
    1. All executives and managers should hold each other accountable for their roles in achieving corporate profitability.
    2. Every person has key initiatives and critical drivers that tie them to profit every quarter.
    3. We have to take care of today to build for tomorrow.
  7. Must celebrate successes on achieving leading and lagging critical drivers and KPI  If you don’t make a big deal about what’s important, it is not important.  Now that was important!
  8. We must be intense on developing our people and investing in their education.
  9. What are you doing to focus on capturing your next Top 100 (or Top 10 or Top 20) customer?  You know what they look like, so go get some more.
  10. Mindset and systemization enable flawless execution, a key to selling and good operations overall.

If these ten ideas were not enough, Roxanne threw in another, almost as a throwaway, but it stuck with me.  “Sloppy sales show in the numbers.”  That one is worth thinking about and talking about with your team – and working on that execution!

Be well,




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