If you know anything about Flint Community Bank, then you know it is different from any other bank that exists. And by the word different I mean set apart. The reason we are set apart goes back to the vision for our bank by our incredible leaders and founders- Scott Tomlinson (CEO) and Frank Griffin (President). They started this bank in 2006 with simple yet profound mission of creating a bank that would be like family by embodying two themes - become the employer of choice and bank of choice. And if you have ever stepped foot in our bank, then you know they accomplished this because the culture that permeates through Flint Community Bank is a family environment that prides itself on service above everything else.
In 2017, Frank charged me with the daunting task of helping him develop and write our core values, mission and vision for our bank. The previous year he sent an email to our entire staff asking the simple question- "Why do you do what you do?" That question came from reading Simon Sinek’s book, “Start with Why?” The entire book is based around the principle, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” The goal was simple, yet very challenging: to define who we are, why we do we what we do and how we will do it. The reason for this now was not to change the course of our bank, but more to align our team, invest in them, and position our bank for future generations of success. Observers may already think we are a good bank, but we want to be a great bank. We as a business need to constantly be reminded of the leadership quote by Jim Collins, “Good is the enemy of great.”
The first step in formulating our WHY was to pull together a group of our very talented team members to help write, formulate, and define our culture. The committee was made up of team members from all levels of position and came from all different banking backgrounds and jobs. We spent the next seven months developing and writing what we felt would capture the heart of Flint Community Bank. Our core values form the word that separates us from the pack - SERVICE.
Empowering our team members
Reinventing the Standard
Investing in the Future
Our core values are not descriptions of the work we do or the strategies we employ to accomplish our mission. Our core values are the cornerstone of who we are. The values underlie our work, how we interact with each other, and which strategies we employ to fulfill our mission. Our values are the beliefs that drive our behavior. They are the practices we use every day in everything we do.
Servant leadership is the first core value because it is the foundation of our bank. Servant Leadership can be simply defined as putting others first and we believe this happens from the top down. If we do this right, then all of the other core values happen organically because of servant leadership. If you ask our team members, they will all tell you that they feel empowered as employees. Not only to do their jobs, but they feel empowered to learn more and do more. We are constantly trying to reinvent the standard of community banking with our products, technology and the way we serve our customers. The crux of the word SERVICE is the letter "V". Subsequently, valuing relationships is the core of who we are at Flint and is the center of customer service. The way we value relationships with God, team members, customers, shareholders, family, and community define us. Our bank invests and cares for our people more than any other business I know. We spend copious amounts of time, resources and energy investing in our team and the future generation. One thing you may know about Flint is we like to have a good time. Flint Community Bank is family. Celebrating life was birthed out the family environment we cherish and honor here. Our entire team gathers every morning together in our lobby to start our day. We pray, celebrate work anniversaries and birthdays and laugh, but in heavier moments, we mourn and cry together just like a family. We constantly strive to exceed the expectations we set for our customers and community. We want to go the extra mile and then go another ten for good measure. We feel that all seven of these core values define who we are at Flint.
We will set ourselves apart as the employer of choice and the bank of choice by
creating value for our team members, shareholders, customers and community while
providing the experience of an extended family.
Our mission statement is a brief description of the fundamental purpose of Flint Community Bank. It answers the question, "Why does our business exist?" We wanted to honor our roots with this mission statement and remain the employer of choice and bank of choice. We feel that is what truly “sets us apart” from other banks. We also wanted our team, shareholders, customers and community to know that we desire to create value for them - as a person and as their bank. If you ask people what is different about our bank, they will tell you it feels like family. Therefore, we wanted to make that a part of our mission and goal of our bank for the future - to be a family. Overall, this mission statement gives us our GPS and honors our roots and origin.
At Flint Community Bank, we display Servant Leadership by Empowering our Team Members to
Reinvent the Standard of Community Banking and to build Valued Relationships while
Investing in the Future, Celebrating Life and Exceeding Expectations.
Our vision defines our core values and objectives as well as the direction of our future. Greg Walls, our Chief Technology Officer, had the idea of having our core values form one statement. It flowed so well we decided to make that our vision statement. Also, we now start every day reciting this and our mission statement after our morning meeting. There is power in words and we speak this daily to remind ourselves of who we are, why we do what we do, and how we are going to continue being the employer of choice and bank of choice.
After putting this all together, we rolled this out to our entire team on February 23, 2018. We had an elaborate presentation, complete with celebratory music, a smoke machine, and an epic balloon drop. We enlisted the help of Darla Harms- a leadership coach and speaker to help us with our SERVICE initiative. She wrote speeches, curriculum and content around each core value and presented to our staff once a month in our morning meeting. We then formed small groups throughout the bank to spend time weekly, diving in and teaching how to exemplify SERVICE daily. We read six leadership books as an entire team and this helped to grow us personally and professionally. The books correlated with our core values and our mission statement: The Servant Leader by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges, The 5 Languages of Appreciation at the Workplace by Gary Chapman and Paul White, The New Gold Standard by Joseph Michelli, The Anatomy of Peace by The Arbinger Institute, The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, and Non- Negotiable- The Story of Happy State Bank by Sam Silverstein.
Our Management team could never have dreamed of how our team would embrace this and run with it. The benefits and results of what we have done still blows me away. The bi-product of this initiative is too much to write down, but I wanted to highlight some things we accomplished through this year and will continue to reap benefits in the future.
After walking through our first core value, Servant Leadership, we established a quarterly SERVICE project. The goal was to find a worthy cause or group each quarter and serve them by offering our time, resources and money. Our four recipients of the SERVICE Projects have been The Anchorage, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, The Liberty House and the Albany Chain Gang. Our team chose the Anchorage- a Christ centered men’s addiction and recovery center in Albany as the first recipient of our service. We served dinner to the men of the Anchorage and stocked their pantry with items employees purchased. This was a way to show these men that are struggling with addiction how much we value them as children of God and part of our community. The second recipient was Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta- the largest pediatric hospital in the country. We worked in conjunction with Community Bankers Association of Georgia to raise money for the AFLAC Cancer and Blood Disorder Center. On June 9, we held a “Saved by the Bell 5k” and had over 150 runners. Through the generosity and efforts of our team and support of our community we raised $20,230.75! Much to our surprise, one of our directors and founder, Wayne Damron agreed to match what we had raised. In response to all of the generosity, we were able to present a check to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta for $40,461.50! Our third quarter project was to raise money for the Liberty House of Albany. The Liberty House primarily serves women and children that have been affected by domestic violence. We decided to host a yard sale with items donated from our staff and give the proceeds to Liberty House. Due to the hard work and efforts of our team members, we were able to present a check to the Liberty House for $5,000 to go towards building their new facility. Since our area was greatly affected by Hurricane Michael in October, we chose the Albany Chain Gang as our fourth quarter recipient. The Albany Chain Gang is a group of local volunteers that spend their time and resources to help those with storm damage that can’t afford to pay someone to remove it. Our team held bake sales and cake auctions the month of November and presented a check to the Albany Chain Gang for $1500. Through our quarterly service projects, we were able to raise $46,961.50, all of which was given to four very worthy groups.
Inspired by empowering our team members, we established a quarterly and annual Oakie award to go to the team member who is recognized by their peers as displaying our core values daily. We began an orientation process with our new team members to exceed their expectations as an employer, to tell them our story and to help them feel valued beginning with the first day. Also, going forward, each team member will be evaluated on how they are living out each of our core values. By investing in the future, we established a junior board of directors made up of high school seniors from our local schools lead by three of our rising star team members- Mary Katherine Iler, Taylor Jenkins and Case Young. We want to invest in the next generation so they can make a greater impact in society, their community and the world. Overall, the fruit of our efforts is continually displayed on a daily basis by our team and continue to affirm our efforts this year.
2018 has been a great year in the life and future of Flint Community Bank and our team exceeded the expectations we set out for our SERVICE initiative. We want to emulate our symbol, the mighty oak tree, by keeping our strong roots, being resilient, and standing tall for years to come. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for our bank and how we can continue to be the employer of choice and the bank of choice for our team, customers, shareholders, and our community.
-Jason Rooks, Senior Vice President & Commercial Lending Manager