Lessons From My Father: Better People Make Better Bankers
A Legacy of Inspiration
As many of you know, Byron Thompson, my father and the Chairman of Country Club Bank, passed away in August. As you can imagine, I've been thinking about him a lot — his life, his many lessons, and his legacy. After his passing, he was eulogized in many places, including in moving pieces in the Kansas City Star, the Kansas City Business Journal, and American Banker. My siblings and I had the honor of speaking about him publicly in the days that followed, and many people who he had impacted over the course of his long and generous life have done the same.
This blog, which is new to Country Club Bank, is an opportunity to continue to tell our story to the people who matter the most to us — our customers, our associates, and our broader community. Our story is also his story. It's the story of Byron's legacy, of the lessons he taught at home and at work, which influence everything we do. That's why I wanted to kick off this blog with a series called Lessons From My Father. I hope you'll enjoy reading about him and learning more about his ethos of caring for, advising, and supporting the people around him.
It's All About Relationships
My dad always shared a great message that challenged and motivated people — not to be better bankers, but to be better people. He knew that to be a better banker would bring success at work, which was important, but even more important was to create fulfilling and supportive relationships. Better people create deeper and long-lasting relationships, and dad was all about relationships. Whether at the bank, at home during family dinners, after church, or out in our Kansas City community, his aim was always to develop and sustain meaningful relationships. His family, friends, and business associates can all tell stories of how their relationship with him touched their lives and inspired them.
Byron's success came as a result of his integrity, creativity, work ethic, and ability to be a good partner and surround himself with good people. These are traits he instilled in everyone he worked with. His integrity was infectious, his work ethic enviable, and his partnership highly sought-after. These qualities, and the strong personal relationships that resulted from them, built the foundations of Country Club Bank, grew it to where it is today, and are present with us every time we walk into its doors. His reminder to "do things well" rather than just "get things done" is always in our ears.
Our work is all about relationships. We think of ourselves first and foremost as a community bank, and we are highly invested in the growth and success of our Kansas City community. We are always looking to create relationships that will help us to help the people around us. From individuals to families, from small businesses to big ones, we see each customer as a relationship that we are privileged to build and maintain. These relationships have the power to make both parties stronger, smarter, and more prepared to meet the challenges of today's world.
In my new role as Chairman of Country Club Bank, my father's message is one that I strive to continue to live up to. I want to heed his charge to grow every day as a better person in my relationships with my family, friends, associates, and customers, and become a better banker as a result. My dad never expected anything of anyone else that he didn’t expect first of himself. The challenge to each of us was he had very high expectations of himself! He was an exceptional man in so many ways, and his example is my compass in being the father, partner, mentor, friend, and banker that he taught me to be.
Country Club Bank is much larger now than when Byron Thompson started it in the 1980s, and that makes it difficult to create a personal relationship with every associate and customer who walks through our doors. While our blog is no substitute for a handshake or a face-to-face meeting, I hope it gives me an opportunity to connect and create relationships with our community. I'm not the only author you'll find in this space — we plan to include many of the different and varied voices present at the bank. I hope you'll read and share our blogs with your own community, and that our relationships will continue to strengthen as we work to become better people, better bankers, and a better community.
Whose example inspires you to be the best you can be? Share your inspiration with us by tweeting @CountryClubBank!