September 2018

Case Study: First State Community Bank

By Bill Blackburn

Founded in 1954, First State Community Bank (FSCB) is a regional community bank that has grown to be the largest banking organization headquartered in Southeast Missouriwith over $1 billion in assets and 635 employees.

FSCB's partnership with Academy Leadership had its genesis when their previous Learning & Development Officer visited the Academy Leadership booth at the ASTD Expo in 2013. He stated that they were creating an "in-house university" that would utilize specific L&D partners to deliver the desired programs. He was immediately drawn to our service academy leadership principles based leadership model for the development of their "high potential" rising managers.

Over the course of the next year our partnership evolved into a 3-year curriculum where Academy Leadership would provide the Leadership Excellence Course & Executive Coaching (LEC) program during year 1, and culminate in year 3 with the Gettysburg Leadership Experience (GLE) as their capstone program. After the GLE, each participant would complete a real-time, business-related issue project to demonstrate their leadership growth.

At this point we have completed the LEC for 3 cohorts of approximately 12 people each, and the first two cohorts have also completed the GLE. Because of the benefits gained through the use of our Energize2Lead Profile™ leadership assessment, they have also had us deliver a half-day workshop with 20 additional leaders from the bank, and a half-day Effective Decision-Making Workshop was delivered to Cohort 1.

As of the end of 2017, 64 managers (10% of their employees) have attended Academy Leadership Programs (38 to our Leadership Excellence Course and 26 to our Gettysburg Leadership Experience). An additional 34 people have attended at least a half-day workshop (Energize2Lead Profile Workshop or Effective Decision-Making Workshop). We are currently under contract to deliver the Advanced Leadership Course (ALC) in 2018 to Cohorts 1 and 2.

Results of Our Partnership

"The Leadership Excellence Course and Gettysburg Leadership Experience have provided an extensive toolbox for our high potential leaders. With a foundation rooted in knowing themselves, knowing their people, and knowing their stuff, these tools have been readily applicable and have helped our leaders and their teams become stronger together."
Doug McDermott, Learning & Development Officer

Testimonials on the LEC

"A leadership training that first works toward self-actualization while assisting in building out your personal leadership philosophy. The course then thoroughly covers several areas of leadership that can help leverage to top performing leaders Great for leaders of all skill sets and experience."
Vice President, Retail Services Officer
"A leadership and personal development course that is set apart from any other. This course takes what other courses teach to a higher level. Something you can take back to the office and apply to everyday use."
Merchant Card Services Director

Testimonials on the GLE:

"The Gettysburg Leadership Experience was truly a powerful experience, it would be difficult for someone to have completed this event and not leave with a deeper understanding of the leader they want to become. It brought together in a small microcosm a snapshot of very different leadership styles and approaches and showed the differences in their effectiveness with teams. Knowing and understanding this was an actual event from history and not just some hypothetical example brought a deeper realization to these lessons. It also brought to forefront that one cannot truly effectively lead by sitting behind the lines or from a desk. One must be out with those in the field and periodically see the field of action to truly understand."
John Denkler, Chief Operations Officer
"In leadership development, theories and approaches come and go, often repackaged as the "next best thing." It has been exciting to watch our high-potential leaders connect their classroom learning of current leadership trends to the timeless lessons from the Gettysburg Battlefield. Ed Ruggero and Bill Blackburn brought to life the stories of real people, faced with real challenges, who made real decisions... the same stories that our current leaders are living every day, and they are stronger because of the experience."
Doug McDermott, Learning & Development Officer
"Detailed background on key players in the battle and then physically walking it will be something that stays with me for the rest of my life. Best history lesson I've ever received. Applying these lessons into our daily activities is what sets this program apart."
Merchant Card Services Director
"Incorporating events from another point in history to help shape and/or manage decisions in today's workforce is strong. Hearing the stories with each leader's challenges really helps you think about your current situations in a completely different way."
E-Banking Manager