Photo of Sunset Blvd sign

Letters From Leton: I Used to be Big in Pictures

Sunset Boulevard is not only a famous place but a famous movie. Gloria Swanson starred in the movie version playing a former silent screen star, Norma Desmond. In the movie, a younger man states to the former star “You use to be in silent pictures”.  “You use to be big” (see Norma’s response at the end).

I thought about pictures this week as I went on my morning walks in Tidewater. There are always folks out taking pictures of the scenery. When you see someone taking a picture you will stop out of courtesy to give them a “good shot” and not spoil the picture. Yet I have wondered how many times I have ended up in folks’ pictures inadvertently during vacations, at amusing parks, ball games, and such. They may never know who I am – but that’s me walking behind their family with the poise of the King Neptune statute at Virginia Beach. Well, let’s just say I used to be in pictures.

You likely have seen the ad for the phone and app that allows you to take out unwanted things and people in your pictures. This includes big galoots like me who just happen to be walking by. Just like software removing people from pictures, evolving technology has taken customers out of banks. How do we react to these changes? Do we sulk? Complain? Long for the “good old days”. Or, do we adapt, visit customers, and become banking tech gurus that our customers turn to when they need help? I am afraid if we don’t “get with” the 21st century, banks in general and our bank in particular, will get erased from the picture. We know the challenges and opportunities we face and we are going to adapt!

As promised earlier, Norma Desmond’s response to the young man was “I am still big, it’s the movies that have gotten small.” We can still be a “big part” of our customers’ banking lives. It all comes down to growing and changing…just like the movies did.

Have a great week.
– 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.