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 Banking Culture is Changing - conference

Over the last 18 months and in the wake of the global financial crisis many banks have shed their top people. Within this industry in particular a new style of manager needs to be moulded to restore trust and lead the way forward.

Roger Collantes, CEO, Global Learning Solutions and Former Asia Pacific Learning & Development Director, Citi affirms that post-financial meltdown, the leadership rules applying to the banking sector have had to be rewritten.

Due to address delegates at the marcus evans ENGAGE 2010: Performance Excellence & Leadership Development Conference, Collantes says the command-and-control leadership model is no longer adequate.

“Tomorrow's leaders need to acquire additional skills such as learning agility (being a quick learner), resiliency (thriving in tough conditions), resourcefulness (doing what it takes), innovativeness (creating new possibilities), emotional intelligence (building and mending relationships), and social responsibility (corporate citizenship). The good news about the global financial crisis is that it exposed the need to address these gaps today. Tomorrow's leaders cannot be trained with yesterday's skills. To lead is to show the way and leaders must demonstrate that ability.

It is crucial for an organisation during times of economic uncertainty to invest in leadership development and should be part of every organisation's business strategy, in good times and in bad times, he explains.

“In an economic downturn, however, the temptation is to cut down on training, especially leadership development. But the opposite is true: companies must intensify their leadership development programs not only to sustain their current business needs but to prepare for the economic recovery. Companies who are committed to developing their leaders are able to attract and retain the best talents. They become employer of choice in a tough marketplace.”

However it is no easy transition to go from manager to leader. “The difference between a manager and a leader is a huge one. It's easier to develop a manager than to grow a leader. The biggest mistake is to promote a top performing manager into a senior leadership position without adequate training and preparation. Leadership is like a muscle. The more intensively you train, the stronger you get. The transition to leadership requires learning new skills such as leading people, inspiring commitment, strategic thinking and managing change. Most managers don't learn these skills intuitively so they need to be educated and coached to become effective leaders. Leadership development is a long-term process that does not happen overnight.”

Reflecting on the wider political and economic world, Collantes says there is no "one-size-fits-all" leadership model. “There are however some fundamental leadership skills that one must have to be effective: people and team skills, self-awareness, strategic perspective and seamless execution. Leadership style is also largely influenced by one's personality and values system. You cannot expect the duck to fly like an eagle or the eagle to swim like a duck.”

The marcus evvans ENGAGE 2010: Performance Excellence & Leadership Development Conference will take place in Manila, Philippines on 9-10 August, 2010.11

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