Left to Our Own Devices Podcast

Episode 8: Avner Mendelson

Avner Mendelson

Taking it Personally: How the President & CEO of Bank Leumi USA Stays Connected During Quarantine

How does a CEO keep their team connected and aligned with an organization’s values during quarantine? By starting with vulnerability. CEO of Bank Leumi USA, Avner Mendelson, shares some deeply personal, very human strategies with Erica on how he keeps open communication with his team. His Quarantine Letters are emails that Avner sends to update the team on the state of the organization, while at the same time giving himself a platform to reflect honestly and openly on this extraordinary (and stressful!) experience. He’s found that when he opens up, employees respond in kind. He’s also maintained a daily 15-minute huddle with the senior team to connect, to share updates and challenges, and most importantly, to share Core Values Stories where someone on the leadership team shares a story of an employee living the Values in Action. For anyone charged with leading a team of any size or industry, this episode is a must-listen.

Quotes

10:14: “I get really excited and passionate and energized when I get to connect with people. I really believe that that serves as a way to build the most important building blocks for not just your personal life, but your professional life—which is trust. Trust is built on real, authentic relationships.”

21:23: on their Core Values Story: “The idea there was to ensure that we as a team don’t just preach values, don’t just learn by heart our values and the behaviors behind them, but actually take the time to reflect on our Values in Action.”

22:26:  “Nobody has any confusion about what are our values on management team. Everybody thinks about this…where do I see our Values in Action?…It got to the point where it cascaded throughout the organization because my management team, my team, has started bringing it to their teams, to their table.”

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