The Oakleaf

An Interview with our President

Posted by Tompkins Mahopac Bank on Feb 12, 2021 2:05:07 PM
Tompkins Mahopac Bank

History is full of examples of leaders in business, science, and other fields who, through their ability to inspire and guide people, have made the world a better place.  We celebrate our nation’s highest elected office on Presidents’ Day, this year on February 15. With this celebration, especially in the midst of a challenging environment, we thought it a good opportunity to ask Tompkins Mahopac Bank President and CEO Jerry Klein for his thoughts on the subject.

Where do you look for inspiration?

Overcoming the challenges that face our community and figuring out how we can play a role in working with our customers to find the right solutions for them.

What are your 3 favorite books or publications?

The Score Takes Care of Itself by Bill Walsh,  The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (a gift from our friend Filomena Fanelli at Impact PR & Communications!), What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith.

Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Why and how did this person impact your life?

John DeGiorgio - He was my first mentor as a Management Trainee when I started my career in banking 38 years ago. He was a very knowledgeable and well rounded banker who people looked up to. He worked hard, and was a great customer relationship professional. He always made time for me, challenged me, and included me in things to give me experiences I would not have otherwise have had for many many years. I still see him and talk with him regularly to this day.

Where do the great ideas come from at Tompkins?

We hire bright and happy people at the Bank and have a culture that enables people to make decisions within some guardrails and not be punished for making mistakes, but to learn from them. In this regard, they feel empowered to think a little differently and creatively in finding solutions or coming up with the next best thing.

What are your favorite questions to ask those you lead?

What do you think we should do? Have you thought about how this will impact your colleague? Is this fair to the next person? Did you learn something new today?

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