Letters From Leton: It Must Be Close By?

On a regular basis, I receive calls or emails from consultants, investment firms or other bank product salespeople saying they will be “in the area” soon and would like to stop by PVB to meet with me. 

I like to learn and meet new people, so I respond, and we schedule a time to meet around their other appointments.

On occasion, I get a call back (more often an email) saying they need to postpone the meeting. I have a hunch why and follow up with them offering to set up another time.

At this point, the conversation normally turns to the fact that the salesperson was calling banks in Northern Virginia or Tidewater, and they did not realize that Jonesville is 6 hours and 42 minutes (MapQuest) from D.C. (assuming no stops or traffic delays).

I offer to meet them at our Abingdon office which is closer. Hope rises in their voice – only to be dashed when I tell them the drive from D.C. to Abingdon is only 5 hours and 12 minutes. We then discuss rescheduling for a time when they are visiting banks in Kentucky or Tennessee.

How often in life or in business do we undertake actions or simply take off without looking at the “Map”?

In life, the “Map” is what we want to be. What education, training or support do we need to be successful and provide for our family? Looking at the long term, not just the next day.

For businesses, including banking, our “Map” involves studying which way the financial winds are blowing, the lay of the changing economic landscape and dynamic and changing times we are in.

Often in banking and business we travel without our Map. We circle the mountain or mesa only to come back to where we started. We travel old roads that are now closed.

No progress. Wasted energy. Lost without our Map or using an outdated Map. All along, the darkness of night draws around us, and we are no closer to home or our goals.

What is your Map? Are you following it? Updating it from time to time?

Or do you assume that things will just work out?

The Future is closer than you think, and it will not be kind to those who travel without their Maps.

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.