The path to leadership

Your future leaders may already work for you. ICBA’s Leadership Academy
can help boost the skills of employees at all levels.

By Ania Scanlan

Leadership means different things to different people. Someone can be a “bad” leader or a “good” leader, and some people become “great” leaders. There are some who believe true leaders are born, not made. The truth, though, is that leadership can be learned. Knowledge can be shared, people can be coached and skills can be honed. All it takes is motivation, learning, practice and role models.


Ania Scanlan
( is vice president, Community Bank Compliance Center, ICBA

If leadership can be learned, what does that mean for your institution? It means that instead of looking outside of the organization, you can invest in those who already work at your bank—at all levels. Show them how to lead by meaningful example. Just as important, allow them to be leaders. Encourage creativity. Let them challenge processes and inefficiencies. Give them opportunities to offer new solutions. The results may surprise you.

The Leadership Academy
A few years ago, Community Banker University noted the absence of a national leadership program designed specifically for community bankers, so ICBA created the Leadership Academy. Through 90 hours of curriculum, community bankers learn the technical banking skills necessary for leading employees at all levels.

1.Take part in two webinar series, which address community bank financial topics and teach leadership and personal development skills.

2. Complete online Leadership Acceleration coursework covering topics ranging from change management, compliance and ethics to risk management and customer relationships.

3. Attend and participate in three live events:

  • The annual ICBA Capital Summit, which empowers community bankers to effect regulatory change. April 30–May 3, Washington, D.C.
  • The Leadership Academy Forum, held in conjunction with Barret School of Banking. A new opportunity to advance technical banking knowledge and enhance leadership skills. June 20–22, Memphis, Tenn.
  • The LEAD FWD Summit, which will push the industry’s brightest minds beyond the traditional boundaries of banking and leadership.
    Nov. 6–7, St. Louis, Mo.

Upon completion of the Leadership Academy curriculum, participants receive a certificate of completion from ICBA and Community Banker University. While the certificate is tangible evidence of participants’ hard work, the knowledge they acquire during the program will last their entire careers.

Take the next step

To learn more about the Leadership Academy and to register, visit