Skip to main content

ELS Spotlight With Amanda Adams

Amanda Adams is VP/Branch Operations Manager at First Financial Bank in El Dorado, Arkansas. As the Branch Operations Manager, I am responsible for our retail branch staff. I have 10 retail branches currently under my supervision which includes 11 managers and 80 of their staff members. I am mostly their problem solver and I get a lot of the “ tell me what you think about this” questions. It has been an absolute pleasure managing the group that I have!

What’s your biggest leadership struggle?

My biggest struggle is keeping my employees motivated. With so much negativity in the world, it causes stressors that aren’t typical for us and it brings down the morale. Trying to find positivity is a constant struggle.

What is the most important leadership lesson that you’ve learned?

Don’t ask your staff to do anything that you are not willing to do yourself. I can walk into any branch and run all of the operations from the teller line to new accounts. If I go to a branch for a visit and the phones are ringing, I answer them. If they have a line of customers waiting, I help them. I have also been known to stand out in the drive thru and work the line by preparing deposit slips and withdrawal slips. I lead by example and my efforts do not go unnoticed!

What does effective leadership look like to you?

To me, effective leadership centers around four characteristics:
Knowledgeable - Making sure that I have all the knowledge I need to support my staff in all areas.
Trustworthy – My staff must be able to trust that what I say without any hesitation.
Available – I must make myself available at all times. They know that if I am unable to answer their call immediately, I will call back as soon as possible.
Honesty – My staff knows that when I am asked a question, they will get an honest answer. It may not always be the answer they are looking for, but they will respect the answer given.

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