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A Legend in My Own Mind

September 17, 2010

Philippe Asselin VP of FMSI - Paddle Boarding

The below is a guest blog article from Philippe Asselin – VP at FMSI

Greetings!  I hope you had a terrific week.  Please take a moment when time permits to read my weekend story-

Several months ago my doctor told me I could come off of the cholesterol medication if I was in top shape, as I was a little high in my bad cholesterol levels.  He said not to worry if I couldn’t get there, as millions take the same meds I do…  I am not a fan of taking medications to treat the symptoms when the cure is found in addressing the problem, so I believe that was a challenge to me! 

I took some time this weekend to enjoy my passion for water-based activities.  I started out paddle boarding as a way to get in shape, as running and exercising are great, but become boring over time in my opinion.  I paddled a mile when I first started, then two, and then eventually worked up to 7 miles in two hours!  I thought I was the best paddle boarder ever!  I even wanted to enter in a distance paddling contest!  I was a legend in my own mind. 

Philippe and his son Zane

I went to the doctor, excited about my new found accomplishments, and yet unfortunately I still wasn’t lean enough.   Many improvements against my own goals were made over the period of time, but still not enough to come off of the medication.  I was doing the best I could with the information I had at the time… 

So, I started changing my habits a little, eating less fried foods, more fruits and vegetables, and started paddling with others who started distance paddling long before I did, to see if they could uh…keep up with me…

Much to my chagrin, my paddling friends had honed their paddling skills over time, and had invested in better tools and equipment…my old 11 foot all-purpose board was no match for their sleek 12-14 feet racing boards.  My paddle technique was very inefficient compared to theirs, making me paddle nearly twice as hard with half the results.  They had been researching other champion paddler’s techniques, tools, and processes.  They knew how fast 7 miles should be completed in, not just what they could personally complete it in.  They were informed about the sport with objective information, and greatly improved as a result.  My blistering two hour pace for 7 miles was actually a casual pace for most race ready paddlers!  Thank goodness I didn’t sign up for the race…yet…

I started thinking how this relates to what many do professionally.  As experienced professionals, most would not compare results exclusively internally, as we know someone else is always getting better outside of our four walls.  Yet so many think that they are the best at what they do today- perhaps also a “legend in their own mind…”  Wouldn’t a better question for business sustainability be “what is possible?”  At least then the door for continuous performance improvement would open, and endless possibilities would arise on the way we do business.

We must get better each day, as the costs of doing business continue to escalate, with no end in sight.  If you are looking for banking workforce optimization tools, please consider utilizing a tool that provides extensive peer group performance information regularly, so your team can see what is possible by looking at what others are accomplishing in the industry.  

Be a good steward of what you are entrusted with, and make sure your largest expense-personnel costs- are managed with great care and consideration, by using the best tools and information available to help your team be the best.  The financial institutions that become lean, efficient, and informed may never need the “Fed Meds” that take away from those we have committed to serve.  Let’s do our best and see what is possible!  

Philippe Asselin served as part of a successful Executive Team at a billion dollar financial institution in the role of Vice President of Human Resources for nearly five years, improving their team’s performance versus peer in all areas.  He now is the Vice President of Business Development for Financial Management Solutions, Inc. (FMSI), which is a business intelligence software company focusing on performance management exclusively for financial institutions.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 6, 2010 9:09 pm

    Great news- I have improved my time and finished third in a sprint race we created. It was third of three racers, but my time is getting better! It is only a matter of time before I enter in the big races coming up. I paddle with the best, which helps me get better in less time. They are true competitors. No slack for me!

    The same should be true in all businesses- competition between businesses can bring good things to the people they serve, when the businesses have their customers in mind. Imagine our country without it! We have seen what other countries without competition produce. If we aren’t careful, we may be in the same shape soon!

    to be continued…

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