Sunday, January 11, 2009

Would someone defend your financial institution with passion?

If you haven’t read Detroit Free Press sports writer Mitch Albom’s impassioned piece for Sports Illustrated (Jan. 7,2009), it’s a must read. Albom, is also the author of the best-selling books, Tuesdays with Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven and For One More Day. In his SI article entitled, The Courage of Detroit, he passionately defended his city of Detroit, the Lions and the auto industry. He also did an interview regarding the article for the Charlie Rose Show on PBS. His interview was even more compelling.

This got me to thinking whether anyone would stand up and be counted if their local bank simply disappeared one day. . . whoosh. . . gone in an instant. Would anyone stand up and plead your cause? I’m not talking a closure due to mismanagement where there would be mass outrage. I’m more interested if you’ve become so entrenched in your community that one branch would be truly missed.

There have been articles and broadcast coverage of how catastrophic it would be if some of the car dealers in smaller communities went out of business. First, because they are the only dealer for miles. And second, they’ve become part of the community’s fabric. They have a history there. They are the community. I’ll admit that the loss of a bank in a small town would definitely cause attention. But in my suburb there are 10 branches within a 1 mile radius. Would anyone plead their cause like Albom did for his state’s industry? While you may say, some of my employees are involved in various community activities, I ask, "Are they truly involved or they they just networking to gain more business?" If you chose one community activity or charity to hang your hat on or become a leader in that endeavor, would that endear you to your community. . . your neighborhood? Let’s say, you’ve become a solid advocate for (you name the organization, i.e. your local fire or police dept., the Red Cross). . . an organization that would become synonimous with your financial institution, would that up your standing?

Do you have a champion for YOUR financial institution . . . one like Mitch Albom?

Again, if you haven’t read The Courage of Detroit”, please do so.

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