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Letters From Leton: We The People

Earlier this month the ABA and Virginia Bankers Association (VBA) held the annual Washington Visit. While I have attended many previous Washington Visits, traveling to our nation’s Capital this year was very special in my role as Chairman of the VBA.

As I anticipated this trip, I reflected on what “I” have done to be in this position. What motivated me to succeed?

When I have these moments of “me” or “I”, a strong realization comes to me – it is not “me” but “We” who are going to WashingtonIt is “We”, not “me”, who have achieved success.

My mother, who taught me to read and write at a very early age. Miss Collier, our one-room schoolteacher, who saw my passion for learning and guided me through four grades in two years. 

My college advisor, Joe Scolnick, who taught me how to think outside of the box (cars made of marshmallows – you would bounce off other cars during accidents). 

President of my first bank (Wise County National), Bill Clements, who was born in the 1920s but foresaw the impact of computers and the internet on banking and installed that awareness in me.

Walter Ayers, my boss at the VBA, who provided the opportunity to become the professional I am today.

A wonderful wife who has supported me along this journey. 

“Me” versus “We” has been on my mind lately.

According to much of what I have read, (The Economist, New York Times, Bloomberg) the “me attitude” of Vladimir Putin greatly precipitated his recent actions. This “me attitude”, along with deep isolation from people (understand he is deathly afraid of Covid), nurtured and fed his paranoid thoughts leading to hateful actions.

Here at work, I have sensed and seen the impact of stress and isolation – folks who are “We” people showing signs of being “me” people. Folk with “me” tendencies having full-fledged cases of “me-ism”. 

These are clear symptoms of isolation, stress and strain.

The advent of spring, the transition of Covid to a lesser threat, could not come at a better time!

With these lights of hope arriving, I encourage you to find a few minutes and take a good look at yourself (as have I). 

Have you let the stress and strains of the past two years turn you into a “me” person?

It’s not too late to get back to who you really are.

M (me) is W (we) turned upside down.

Our world has been turned upside down the past couple of years.

It is time for us (we) to change that and right the ship. For ourselves, our bank, and the communities we serve to reclaim our caring and understanding traditions.

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.