Letters From Leton: Small Problems Become Big Problems!

We had just put our Richmond home up for sale as I was returning to SWVA to go back into banking. Rather quickly, we had an offer.

Excitement and good news!

Then, reality.

Discovered by the home inspector, carpenter ants had been gnawing away at the floor underneath the shower in our bathroom. The real culprit – the beautiful and majestic oaks that surrounded our home and their limbs that served as a roadway for the ants to our porch roof.

Since that day, I have become a tree limb vigilante! Dare a limb come within a few feet of any home we have since lived in, and the limb is summarily executed (sawed away).

That experience taught me that if left unattended, the smallest of issues become big problems. Like letting a tree limb slowly grow closer to your home. What started out as a few leaves touching the home turned into a small limb touching the home that eventually grew into a bigger limb touching the home and costing me a couple thousand dollars.

Small problems can also happen at work.

Have you ever failed to call a customer back the same day they reached out to you? It’s a small issue until the following day when you learn they had called to have you make a draw on the credit line!

Or returning home from work and remembering you forgot to set the motion alarm. No big deal until the next morning all of the bank PCs with sensitive data are stolen!

I was reminded of how we can let the little problems grow into big problems by Carly Fiorina (former Chairman of Hewlett Packer) in her weekly Bloomberg interview on leadership and her accompanying article.

My father taught me that doing little things every day, such as checking the oil in your car, can make a big difference over a lifetime.

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.