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ELS Spotlight With Kayla Jones

Kayla Jones is the VP, Loan Operations Manager for Stone Bank in Harrison, Arkansas.

I manage the day-to-day processes and procedures within the Lending Department here at Stone Bank. I maintain and oversee all Loan Assistants to ensure they are using the bank’s processes and procedures and staying within compliance. I also oversee the Loan Operations Department and maintain all Loan Servicing going in and out from Origination to when the loan pays off this includes document preparation, booking loans onto the bank’s core platform, maintaining insurance on all collateral, imaging loans into our system, document review, and the processing of all paid loan files.

What is the most important leadership lesson that you’ve learned?
I think one of the biggest leadership lessons I’ve learned so far is that every one of my employees has their own personalities and ways they like to do things. One employee may pick up on task quicker than another, but then vice versa when it comes to something completely different. I think learning about each person individually and understanding what works for them and what I can do to help ensure they are able to work as efficiently and effortlessly as possible is a crucial part in having a department that’s not just a department, but that’s a team.

What is the most effective daily habit you possess?
The most effective daily habit I possess would have to be creating tasks through my email. Whether it be daily, weekly, or monthly I make sure I have a task created and a reminder set, or I will forget to do it. If I don’t have a checklist or daily to-do list, things would be overlooked constantly due to the high volume of calls and emails I receive daily.

What’s your biggest leadership struggle?
I feel as though the biggest struggle for me when it comes to leading would have to be managing people that are remote or that work at other locations. I am stationed at our Harrison Branch but have recently assumed the role of supervising all the Loan Assistants at each of the bank’s branches. This is a struggle for me because I like to be physically present and want people to know that I am here and ready to help or answer questions in any way that I can. Sometimes it’s just nice being able to talk with an individual face to face when trying to work through an issue or project rather than over the phone or email. It just feels more personal. One thing I do to try and get past this is to travel to each location as much as my schedule allows to ensure that those individual’s feel like they can always come to me and feel comfortable enough to call when they need something.

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