A Coronavirus-related Reminder on the Importance of Aligned Values

Written by Seth Derner
Last week, our banking partner, Union Bank & Trust (UBT), was highlighted in a Washington Post feature article that uncovered why this family-owned bank in Lincoln, Nebraska, out-maneuvered the big, national banks in securing Payroll Protection Program loans for their customers.

If you can access the article (pay for quality journalism, folks!) you’ll learn that UBT took initiative early, was driven to urgency by empathizing with their customers’ anxiety, and found a balance between getting everything exactly right and doing what was needed to be ready on “hour one” of the program.

None of this surprised us. The values that drove UBT to succeed align deeply to our own.

UBT has been our banking partner from the day we started operations in 2006. A year in, they probably wish they weren’t; we were upside down. But they dug in, coached us, and held us accountable. Every short-term win was celebrated. We survived the Great Recession and before we knew it, we were on a path to building a solid business pursuing purposeful growth.

The values that drove Union Bank & Trust to succeed align deeply to our own

Once we started landing on the Inc. magazine list of 5000 fastest growing private companies in 2015, the solicitation and offers from other banks and financial institutions started pouring in. Some had more programs and features, others had special units designed just for the needs of a company like ours, and others told us that a local, family-owned bank was nice but couldn’t compete in the fast-changing marketplace.

Oh, really?

One of the profound lessons we’ve learned from our friends and fellow business founders/owners in the Small Giants Community is that your values need to be more than marketing fodder or part of the onboarding process. They should guide all your major decisions inside the company and guide all of the relationships your company maintains.

We take this to heart. We’ve considered values alignment in working with our partners for payroll, and IT support, insurance services, and – of course – banking. Why? Because when the “stuff hits the fan” as it is right now, we know we’re surrounded by partners that are making decisions based on similar values. There is tremendous peace of mind in knowing that. If you’re not sure how your bank, other partners, or your suppliers are going to react in a crisis it might be time to talk about more than features, pricing, and perks.

Congratulations to UBT for being recognized for what makes you a special organization (something we’ve known for a long time).

Seth Derner
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