March is a crazy month in the mountains. On one hand, you can have 70-degree days with flowers and trees in bloom. On the other hand, you can have massive snowstorms – the March 1993 storm left 36 inches on the ground!
It is also the month for the NCAA Basketball Tournament known and promoted as March Madness. A time when last-second shots can make one a hero. Of particular interest to me are the teams that seem to make it to the NCAA regularly. No, I’m not talking about Duke, Kentucky, or UCLA. They have lots of money, huge alumni bases, and of course great histories. They are expected by just about everyone to make the tournament each year. Rather, I think of teams like Weber State (16 appearances), Davidson (15), VCU (19), and St. Mary’s (12) – smaller schools that show up in the tournament on a regular basis. How do they do it against the supposedly superior competition?
Let’s start with commitment. Generally, these schools find a good coach (or coaches over the year) and let the coach do their job. Next, these schools think of the long term. One bad season or two does not scare them. They have had success in the past and understand that being consistent will pay off with success in the future. These teams are also committed to doing the basic things well – passing the ball, rebounding, and setting picks. These may not show up in the box scores, but they do show up with wins.
For Powell Valley National Bank, March has truly been madness with bank challenges. Yet, I am reminded of PVNB’s “consistent” appearance in the banking tournament. Over our 135-year history, we have had just a handful of head coaches (CEOs). I have just entered my 11th year and others such as Browning Wynn and Sonny Martin served well over 20 years. The Board thinks long-term. We have made moves over the past years to go to new markets and offer new services (such as ICS and CDARS which can provide up to $20 million in FDIC insurance to one customer) to prepare to win down the road as well as today. Day in and day out we take care of our customers, empower our staff, and act quickly to deliver products and services to our customers. People recognize strength and commitment.
Yes, March can be madness. However, with consistency, commitment, and focus on the future, we can and will make it into spring and to calmer and better times.
“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.