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ELS Spotlight With Heather Cooper

Heather Cooper is a Credit Analyst II for Citizens Bank in Rogers, Arkansas.

I complete analysis of proposed Commercial Loans, to determine the repayment capacity of the borrowers and guarantors. I then complete a narrative with my findings for the lender to include in his proposal to the loan committee.

What is the most effective daily habit you possess?

Preparing the night before. Mornings can be hectic, and no one wants to start their day feeling rushed and overwhelmed. That is why I prep school lunches, bags, fill water bottles, and any other tasks that I can the night before. This ensures a smooth, stress free morning, and, in turn, helps the day go better.

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

A good leader does not micromanage, they empower their team. This starts in the hiring process with attracting the most talented, but also hardest working candidates. Then training the new associate in way they feel empowered, not only to do their jobs, but to look for ways to make it better. That could be found in new processes or a better work environment. Either way, if your team feels empowered, the overall output will be more than expected.

What is the greatest advice you have ever been given?

“People First” - it is the mission of our institution and honestly it is what I have believed from day one of my career. People, especially family, are very important to me. A trainer also once told me “do not give your job more energy than you give your family”, while that may seem like something she would get in trouble for saying in a work training environment, it stopped me dead in my tracks. The happier my family is, the happier I am and in return I become a better employee because there is not the added stress of what to prioritize, it is always “People First.”

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