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I was watching the Treasury Select Committee’s grilling of four former bankers last week. The interesting face of this story is the perception of banks in the broadest sense. When we look at the global brands that had until September last year have been synonymous with institution, due diligence, risk management, trustworthiness, solvency – we are now faced with an entirely different perspective. Bankers on the other hand have in recent years been perceived as risk-takers, financial wizards having a magic touch earning bonuses in multiple millions. The two have never really been congruent.
And with bankers bonuses being limited in bale-out banks, and the banks themselves being institutionalised, I believe that we are going to see very different leadership brands.
The premise of a strong leadership brand is that the leaders in the organisations they work for personify the aspirations of the corporate brand – and the successful application of this has a direct effect on the bottom line. So we expect that those working for Nike, swoosh, just do it – will in turn display the fundamental characteristics and personality of this well-known brand – if they don’t it, it has a negative effect on investors and customers alike.
And how will this now translate to the banks… with a whole new set of criterion, will the leadership in turn change dramatically to reflect the current situation? Somber leaders for somber times?