There was an interesting article in The Weekend Australian (29-30 October 2011) Business Section Outside the club: how resilience shaped Clyne. The article was about how Cameron Clyne, CEO of National Australia Bank, believes the core leadership principle is resilience. According to the article, Cameron Clyne is the architect behind NAB’s Break Up marketing campaign, where the NAB is trying to position itself as different from the other big 3 banks in Australia’s banking oligopoly. Clyne is described a rough and tumble rugby-loving, beer-drinking guy who likes to be unconventional.
According to the article, the NAB has developed a purpose built management program which its top 200 managers have attended in ten groups of 20 over the best ten years. One of the key attributes the management program is trying to develop is resilience.
As I said in my previous blog about bankers, the core desire in commercial bankers is the desire for security. Every loan should have a second way out – if the borrower cannot repay the loan; there should be some other form of collateral security that the bank can seize and liquidate. Commercial Bankers are dominated by the Doublechecker component. Doublecheckers typically see risk and problems where none exist. This is a terrific attitude to have when acting as lender. This presents a problem for Clyne because Doublecheckers of all the seven components naturally have the lowest resilience.
Resilient people are serene in situations of stress and adversity. Clyne says that he wants his managers be even-tempered and project an air of calmness, particularly in times of crisis such as when Greece may default. What Clyne says is helpful is having managers who work through the issues systematically and formulate a plan.
So this becomes the question, can you lift the resilience of a group who natural tendency is to have low resilience. There is no doubt it can be done, but you should not underestimate the challenge that lies ahead.
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