In our inaugural Templar Spotlight series, we feature David Rush from our New York office. David’s career spans reputation, strategic and enterprise risk governance as well as coaching high performance leadership programs.
This week, David shares his insight about risk, the importance of getting the tone right at the top and how he uses meditation at work. When he’s not travelling the US delivering coaching, David spends his time perfecting his new surfing hobby.
“Tone from the top is critical. Additionally critical is practicing what you preach. Tone from the top will fall on deaf ears if the leadership in the organisation is not demonstrating the values and culture it’s looking to create.
Employees need to see the culture in action firsthand. This may mean continual messaging from leadership, managers and human resources."
My prior experience in the banking world across a number of different products, business lines, risk stripes as well as different size banks, both foreign and domestic, allows me to speak to the breadth of our clients with the understanding of their business and their functions.
I am able to understand our clients’ perspective from my first-hand experience in the trenches. Additionally, my prior experience as a leadership coach allows me to seamlessly integrate my financial background with my coaching expertise, bringing the two worlds powerfully together.
When speaking about conduct risk, how important is it to get the tone right at the top and what are your top tips for leaders?
Tone from the top is critical. Additionally critical is practicing what you preach. Tone from the top will fall on deaf ears if the leadership in the organisation is not demonstrating the values and culture it’s looking to create. Employees need to see the culture in action firsthand. This may mean continual messaging from leadership, managers and human resources.
The more the messaging and the culture can be demonstrated across the organisation on a continual basis, the more it will resonate with employees and reflect in their behaviours.
Integrity is critical in this implementation and development of this tone.
Not ignoring areas or instances where the conduct expectations are not being met is important and then followed by taking corrective actions. As in sports, if you are not following the coach’s and organization’s expectations, you would not be playing the game for very long.
At times reputation risk can be a communication issue. When it comes to public perception, it’s important to brand yourself well in the marketplace from day one. A strong brand allows you to deal with any issues that come up much more effectively. As issues arise, messaging and its timing can be critical. It’s important you are speedy in your response and craft your messages well, addressing the specific issue as directly as possible along with presenting a clear path for the future.
Internally, reputation risk can certainly be mitigated with strong communication across the organisation. Having a strong reputational oversight and governance policy and procedure is crucial to great reputation risk management.
It’s additionally important that reputation considerations are present in everyone’s day-to-day thinking; considering all actions and what the impact of these actions are on the organisation’s brand and reputation. This may simply be employee conduct or scrutinising specific business practices and transactions.
It is important for organisations to be considerate and strategic in their approach when integrating best practice. One of our key messages in our communication training is getting into the other person’s world, demonstrating you understand what they are dealing with and speaking to what they care about.
If the messaging is on par, best practice is a win-win for employees and the organisation. If you can speak to what your employees care about and what motivates them, they’ll be much more inclined to toe the best practice line.
Incentives are helpful; can we reward and recognise best practice champions and can we make best practice fun and enjoyable? Department-wide and firm-wide events are great for developing culture and promoting messaging.
Pride in the company and what it stands for leads to best practices being followed. Are we integrating it in to the fabric of our business? Are managers echoing and instilling it in all they do? Are key leaders demonstrating it across the firm?
I generally tend to be stress free and I attribute it to the daily practices I’ve instilled into my life. Rarely a day goes by when I’m not hitting the gym in the early morning or going for a run and often I do both.
For me physical activity is crucial for starting the day off powerfully and getting into the correct mindset. I also integrate a regular meditation practice, and journaling which allows me to clear my mind, brainstorm new ideas, and create my vision for the future. If there are moments of stress either in the workplace or otherwise, I’ll take some time to step back, close my eyes and center my focus and intentions along with some breathing and meditation.
I am a big Audible fan and listen to a lot of audio books. A recent highlight for me is Robert Cialdini’s “Pre-suasion – A revolutionary way to influence and persuade”. It’s a riveting book about influence and how people make decisions. I’m fascinated by human beings and their effectiveness in life and situations. This book provides some powerful insight into what moves people and how we are all influenced.
What really inspires me is making a difference in organisations and for people. At Templar, I’ve had many incredible experiences getting to meet extraordinary people across the industry. It’s so powerful at the end of sessions or in future follow-up conversations when we discover the impact our sessions have on their lives.
Often times these communication skills are not simply transforming their professional lives, they transform their personal lives too.
I’m continually seeing the value great communication has on people and our society, especially in an age where people tend to have much less interpersonal communication as we get more and more consumed with our smartphones, email and social media.