First City Monument Bank

I am the Chief Executive Officer of a midsize bank in Nigeria, First City Monument Bank (FCMO B), which has 280 branches and 2 million customers. I have learnt to listen more in meetings that I chair and not give my views until the others have spoken in order to avoid the natural tendency of deference to leader’s view. It has enabled me to be more sensitive to the views of others and I would say our decisions are more robust.

I have also learnt through coaching to shed many biases and listen better: hear what people really say and not what I think they say. This has made me more objective and also created a more positive culture amongst our leadership team. People are less defensive and communication is more open.

Most importantly, my interactions with Mark Kamin & Associates has heightened my consciousness about the importance of building the right corporate culture. We, like many organizations, took culture for granted in the attainment of our vision and did not spend time defining and reinforcing the type of culture that would support attainment of that vision. This has changed.

By becoming a better listener, focusing on my personal integrity, communicating in a way and manner that seeks to stimulate the right actions and behavior, I have found it essential to prioritize fostering the right culture for our organization. This is likely to be the biggest breakthrough for the organization over the next few years and pivotal to our future success.

Ladi Balogun, CEO