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Private Banking: Building a Culture of Excellence by Boris F. J. Collardi

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Chapter 11

Defining and Growing Leadership and Culture

In private banking, it is important to demonstrate that the institution can challenge the accepted wisdom and provide new and creative solutions. A leader may be defined by some particular event that requires the ability to deal with something where the perimeters are different, difficult, or not clearly defined, such as opening a new business. It is in fact much simpler and perhaps more exciting to build up something from scratch in a growth market. In an established business, the task of leading change is no less difficult. Taking time to communicate is always a high priority, to people both inside the firm and on the outside. Establishing a sense of purpose is also important in any company. Beyond that, it is necessary to give people tasks whose demands exceed what they personally believe they can accomplish. My biggest satisfaction is hearing someone say, “I never thought it was going to be possible, but we made it.” If you really want something, you can make it happen. During my career, I have seen people rise to the occasion. How the concept of leadership has evolved and what makes a good leader are the main topics addressed in this chapter.

WHAT MAKES A LEADER?

Leadership is the focus of countless books, seminars, and conferences.* As often as it is discussed, however, what precisely “leadership” is, let alone how to encourage its development, is subject to much debate. Ideas about what makes a good leader can change. ...

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