Letters From Leton: Come Sail Away

Have you ever had someone ask you how far is it from here to there? Normally you can respond based on experience with a reasonable estimation.

When we moved to Tidewater, peopled asked me that question, and I had no idea. I was out of my element. New to a world that was exciting yet uncomfortable.

You see, in the mountains, the roads are not direct. To get to a place north of you, sometimes you must go south, then west and then finally north. You factored this into your time and distance calculations.

In Tidewater, the roads were straight. Thus my confusion about time and distance to and from a place.

As I shared this challenge with some Tidewater locals who had become our friends, they commented that driving in the mountains sounded like sailing in the sea.

If you want to go north when the wind is against the boat, you have to “tack” – go east, west, then eventually arrive at your point in the north.

The mountains and the seas are great forces of nature. Growing up around one or the other (or both) makes you realize their power. You learn that you can’t change them – you must adapt to them.

Banking (finance, technology) is another “force of nature”. It is constantly changing.

Once upon a time there was no such thing as a check. There is a good possibility that in my lifetime checks will all but disappear.

It is interesting that two mighty forces – mountains and seas – impose their will on us, yet we are inspired by them. We look out at the ocean with wonder. We stand on mountain tops in awe.

What if instead of fearing the changes imposed by our industry, we become inspired by them?

Inspired to be better bankers who sail the seas of change.

Stay safe.

– Leton


“Letters From Leton” is a blog series comprised of the weekly updates that Leton Harding – President, Chairman, and CEO of Powell Valley National Bank, shares with the Bank’s team members. These newsletters are full of uplifting anecdotes and intriguing insights that are applicable beyond the Bank, so we want to share them with you.