"We've got to do something... about our culture's values."
Build Lasting Relationships
Ventura California: Meet Joe Kreutz; he is the founder, CEO and President of County Commerce Bank. He had been banking for 30 years; he was a president of a savings and loan; he started his own mortgage banking company. And to start the bank of his dreams, he put his neck on the line and "skin in the game" (his own investment dollars).
He was destined to make this bank special.
Most community banks were gobbled up back in the '90s. With 170 local investors, they opened for business in February 2003 and the impact within the community was immediate. This was truly a place where everybody got to know your name.
In the words of one of our favorite small business owners, Albert Black, we must "teach, preach, coach and counsel" to preserve and improve our conditions.
We can't rest. We can't expect other to do it. We are the sovereigns.
We did a business plan. We thought it would take two and a half to three years to become profitable and we blew our plan out of the water and became profitable in 9 months and that is well ahead of the industry standard of about 30 months to become profitable for a bank.
An email sent to friends read, "We've got to do something about the moral fiber of our nation. What do you suggest?" Here's how some replied:
1. "Things have become frighteningly upside down. But everyday I remind myself: if we lose our hope and joy in the midst of this mess... Game over.
2. "Do you really believe that mankind is capable of successfully directing his own path? Please take the time to read Jeremiah 10:23. The bible has the answers...."
3. "I'm just disgusted with the world in general. I often wish I could go back to the days of innocence of the 1950's, not that everything was great then but my mother raised us according to honorable family values."
4. "For too long have we sat back and thought I am just too busy to get involved. The famous quote: `All it takes for evil to win is for good men [and women] to do nothing' was never more true... We cannot remain silent any longer."
Understand the foundations of democracy and capitalism. We all have to teach the essentials of democracy and capitalism. Our best, tightest offering here is an episode with Michael Novak. You can watch this episode, key idea by key idea, right here. If you would like the link to watch the episode end-to-end, send us a note.