I marvel at old trees. Especially the giant oaks we have around the Madison area. I’m lucky because I get to see them in the country when I’m out biking and also when I’m walking around town.
WITH COREY CHAMBAS
The problem would have been averted if everyone just followed the rules. Unexpected behavior can lead to bad consequences.
Okay, I admit in some ways I'm a dinosaur. I thought I was with it and hip … wait, is “hip” still hip? But I've been a banker now for 30 years. When I first started and had to wear a suit and tie, I absolutely hated it.
When I was 25, I thoroughly analyzed, wrote up, and prepared my very first commercial loan for loan committee. I was confident I had done a good job and was surprised when the chief credit officer (CCO) of the large bank I worked for called me into his office. He was a bit of a crusty old guy — probably about my age now!
When I started doing this blog, one of my concerns was sharing our “secret sauce” for success, and allowing our competitors in on some of our strategies and tactics. We are a niche financial services company and we definitely do some unique things. I was worried that I was making us vulnerable by letting competitors know what we were trying to do and how we were trying to do it. But I no longer worry, as I’ve come to realize that execution eats strategy for lunch.
You may get the impression from the title that I hate email. Actually, it’s a love/hate relationship. One thing that I get frustrated by, as I’m sure you do, is the sheer volume of email that I receive at work. If I’m not keeping up throughout the day, I’ll have about 75 to 100 emails — and I’m pretty diligent about unsubscribing and blocking senders, so there’s another 25-plus in my spam!
A few years ago when we had our kitchen remodeled, we had a butcher block put in. The remodeler who did the work told me that the butcher block needed to be oiled. When I asked how often, he said something along the lines of “once a day for a week, once a week for a month, once a month for a year, and then once a quarter thereafter.”
You may not have noticed, but I fell off the blogging grid for a while. A little over a month ago when my last blog was due, my dad passed away unexpectedly. It has been very hard for me. I became inwardly focused, and it totally sapped my creative energy. Ironically, over the past month I listened to a book called "Imagine" by John Lehrer that is all about creativity — the thing I was lacking. It’s a great book and I would highly recommend it.
Every weekend when I bike along a portion of the local trail, I get stopped and asked to show my trail pass. At first this was a source of frustration, as I am somewhat obsessed with tracking my average speed, and this slows me down.
A few years back I went through a coaching experience that was both interesting and productive. As is typical, the first step was an assessment of my strengths and “opportunities for improvement.” Although I thought I was pretty aware of my “opportunities,” I really benefited from the chance to fully understand them.
Corey Chambas has over 30 years of business experience. He is the President and CEO of First Business Financial Services, Inc., is chairman of the board of M3 Insurance Solutions, an advisory board member of Aldine Capital Fund, and a member of the board of the United Way of Dane County and the 2018 Campaign Chair.