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ELS Spotlight With JR McPhate

JR McPhate is a commercial lender for Chambers Bank in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

What is the most important leadership lesson that you’ve learned?
The most important leadership lesson that I have ever learned is how critical it is to lead by example. I have been fortunate to have wonderful leadership examples throughout my career, men and women that were humble and never asked me to do something that they would not do. No job, task, role, etc. is beneath any of us. We all function as one team at the bank. Although we play different roles, the success of our bank is dependent upon all of us performing at the highest level and moving towards a common goal. Without people willing to lead by example, this would be a very difficult task.

What is the most effective daily habit you possess?
The most effective daily habit of mine is coming into the branch early. That 30-45 minutes before we open allows me to accomplish a myriad of things without fear of distraction. Once 8:00 AM hits, the phone calls and texts from customers start rolling in, so it is critical that I have that time in the morning to work through anything that requires my undivided attention. It helps minimize stress levels throughout the day as I am no longer worried if I will have enough time to meet any certain deadline or be able to turn a credit around as fast as I would like.

What is the greatest advice you have ever been given?
The best advice I have been given is “you learn far more by listening than you do by speaking.” If you give people the opportunity to speak, they will tell you what their biggest issues/needs are whether they realize it or not. Fortunately, I have been married for nearly 12 years so I have had plenty of opportunities to practice my listening skills!

The ELS Spotlight is an ongoing series to highlight our Emerging Leaders from around Arkansas.