One of the high profile business stories this week is about Wells Fargo. CEO John Stumpf was called to Washington D.C. to be heard and then flogged by the politicians. Rather than review the entire situation which is widely available for your review online and at CNBC here is a quick and dirty review.
People who worked at Wells Fargo were reportedly for years creating fake accounts for a variety of bank products utilizing the identity of real banking customers. From my reading and listening it does not appear any of the customers funds were stolen, however, this remains a serious issue as credit report impacts, identity theft and more may have been the result of some of these activities.
At this time over 5,300 people have been let go from Wells Fargo. On CNBC it was stated that none of the people who were let go were anyone we would know or hear about, however, it is possible some were branch managers. One of the quotes from CEO John Stumpf was that this was an issue created by the behavior of low level employees. As a side note the person in charge of the entire unit is leaving the company along with a bonus in the high millions. Feel free to check out the various stories if you are interested in the reported details as more information is released and the stories to date are verified.
The bottom line is this about culture and leadership. Stop there – end of story.
In fact here is a challenge, if there is a person in the Wells Fargo organization with a budget contact me. We will speak or meet and begin a program for your team, division, Branch(s), organization which will return value almost immediately. Everything right now being thrown out there by your internal trainers and PR folks is about CYA.
What we will work on is values based leadership. In essence this is the missing element.
Everyone in the organization was / is graded by numbers and statistics. Let’s face the facts from day one were all 5,300 people who were let go people who had criminal intent on their mind when they began their careers at Wells Fargo? Up until a week ago the majority of these folks were upstanding citizens in their communities. These folks did their 9 to 5 and were doing what they thought they needed to do to get by.
They were and their managers were incentivized by the system set up by Wells Fargo –mthe culture. This is the culture potentially prevalent in numerous banking institutions.
What if instead the metrics measured the value of a new customer? A customer who had a business and two children and has been married for five years. What is the value of getting to know this customer where the bank is writing the mortgage and maybe a home equity loan, providing credit cards, debit cards, college loans, car loans, insurance and potentially investment accounts?
What is the lifetime value of a customer who knows your name and has your cell phone number just in case they need something?
A leader does not have to be a CEO or a C anything. A leader is a person who knows when to lead. When it is time to take action. Now is that time at Wells Fargo. Consider the small snowball which is rolled down the mountain and it picks up speed on the way down and becomes a huge round ball of snow. This is the type of momentum and culture change we will start by beginning with you and your team right now at Wells Fargo.
Are you up for the challenge? For once lead from the front and not from a spreadsheet.
This is a blog. A weekly Award Winning blog written for over six years each week by Mitch Tublin, Feel free to subscribe here. It is not meant to be or advertised to be reporting the news. Everything is based upon my opinion or my understanding. Hope that works for you and keeps you interested. You are always free to comment in the comments area. Your readership is appreciated. Let others know about “Navigating Your Course for Success” so we grow our community. Smooth Sailing.