Friday, January 07, 2022

Jeff For Banks: Top Five Posts of 2021

I don't expect followers of my blog to read every post. And my blog page shows the top five posts of all time. In fact, the content in my book, Squared Away: How Can Bankers Succeed as Economic First Responders, was driven by the top 20 most-read posts of all time.

But what about recently? Here are the top five most-read posts of 2021. In case you want to read them.

1. The Death of the Community Bank

Pundits make predictions. And I jumped in with both feet with a presentation I made in 2008. When I dug it out of my archives, I reviewed those past predictions with what actually happened. Where was I right? Where was I wrong?

2. CFPB: Are They Coming To Get You?

Written in March in response to questions a bank trade association CEO asked me as he was penning an Op-Ed, I did not know how prescient this piece would be. The questions were relating to the CFPB director contemplating taking "aggressive action" against those that were perceived to engage in Covid relief violations. Well that turned out to be the first piece of popcorn on the trail of a far more aggressive CFPB that is likely to get the majority of good banks sucked into the vortex with the few bad ones.

3. Squared Away: How It Happened

Since I had never published a book, I had no idea how to approach writing a book. Perhaps many of my readers are contemplating putting pen to paper and sharing what they've learned with a larger audience. And this drew them to how it came about for me. Hint: It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. It took discipline. Except for the title. That was a family fun brainstorming session.

4. Memorial Day: Remember Maurice "Maury" Hukill

One thing I have learned about community bankers is they truly appreciate the sacrifices others made that allowed them to pursue a career in community banking. I highlight a fallen service member every Memorial Day. And this one had the most views of all of them. Perhaps it was boosted because Maury was a native of my hometown, and I pushed this out to my Facebook friends too. So there were probably a bunch of views that were not bankers. But still, I salute you, my readers, for elevating this tribute.

5. Bankers: Seven Questions to Determine if You Have a Strategic CFO

The consulting firm Deloitte posited seven questions to determine if the reader was (if he/she was a CFO) or has a strategic CFO. I posted the questions, provided the Deloitte meaning, and then connected it to banking. I hope you or your CFO fit the bill.

My Pick

Probably because it was such an important and high-level issue, Banking's Execution Imperative was my favorite. Although it did not take home Top 5 hardware. I rarely see bankers determine their strategy willy-nilly. Instead they put in the effort. Get executives and the Board involved. Dig through data to come up with the best strategy for their bank, in their current situation. And a year later when we follow up on progress, we hear about their "day job." If you're an executive, strategy development and execution is your day job. 

Honorable Mention

Although this post was published in November 2020, it still had enough legs to be one of the top read of 2021. Dorothy has been a mainstay of our blog. She had been writing her commentary for some years for physical distribution to her bank's customers. Finally, the Marketing Department was on to her and began posting directly to the bank's website. She'll be missed on these pages. But you can catch her on our next This Month in Banking podcast waxing eloquent on what bankers should do in this uncertain interest rate environment. That release date is January 26th. Get it here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Thank you to all of my readers. I don't take you for granted and will continue to be thoughtful in how I, and my colleagues at The Kafafian Group, can bring value to you and your teams. WE WANT YOU, YOUR EMPLOYEES, CUSTOMERS, COMMUNITIES AND SHARHOLDERS TO WIN!

~ Jeff

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