Last October, while the mortgage industry gathered in Austin, Texas, to celebrate a better than expected year and make plans that would hopefully allow us to skirt a possible recession in the coming year, McKinsey put out a report saying that more than half of the global banks will not weather the next financial downturn, unless they reinvent themselves. They just weren’t making enough money.
The Mortgage Bankers Association had been warning its members for some time that the same was true here, but profitability was finally starting to return to mortgage banking by 2019, which was evident at the annual event in Austin. But as I navigated that conference, I noticed that while many were smiling, their eyes were telling a different story.
There was a shadow in the room that everyone seemed careful not to see. Even CNBC’s coverage of the McKinsey report left it out. The reporter talked about low return on equity, low interest rates, low overall profitability, consolidation and increased Fintech competition. What wasn’t covered but what screamed at me from between every line in the story was “crisis of leadership.”
No company just reinvents itself. Great leaders guide people through the reinvention process.
Financial services companies are experiencing a leadership crisis today. This is especially true in our business. If we don’t find the next generation of leaders soon, most mortgage lenders won’t survive.
But where will we find them? Any recruiter will tell you that it’s incredibly difficult to get young people to enter our business. They’ll give you dozens of excuses for this, all decorated to look like reasons. Forget all that.
This week I learned two things that I believe will save our industry.
We have the leaders we need now
This week, I traveled to Seattle to experience Amplifii, an influencer training and leadership development program led by Rene Rodriguez. I watched Rodriguez lead a small group of the nation’s top loan originators through a grueling three-day process that provided step-by-step methodologies to create influence from the front of the room.
The 10 participants in the room (Rodriguez won’t deliver this experience to more than 10 people at a time), were not new loan officers or junior executives. They were some of the nation’s top producers, hand picked by MortgageCoach founder Dave Savage, who was also a participant. Each one of these people was successful before they ever entered the room.
The before and after videos will show anyone what I experienced first hand as this small group worked through two 10+ hour days and learned how to dig deep to find the only stories that will resonate with the new generation of home buyers and business referral partners. I saw people who had made fortunes by speaking from their heads learn to master the art of influence by speaking from their hearts.
I left Seattle convinced that if all we had to guide this industry through the next decade were the 10 leaders I met this week at Amplifii, it would be enough. But we’ll have much more than that.
The tools and the trainers are available now
Rodriguez has been offering his Amplifii experience for a couple of years now, moving around the country and working with small groups of executives who are good at what they do but who want to be great. Participants come together from a range of industries and neither success nor experience is a prerequisite.
This week’s event was the first delivered to a group made up only of mortgage loan originators. Rodriguez and Savage say it won’t be the last. They have set a goal to deliver the experience to 100 MortgageCoach loan originators in 2020. If they reach this goal, and I have every reason to believe they will, it will change everything.
Of course, change is scary. And it’s hard. It’s even harder when the environment you’re working in is also experiencing rapid change.
You can’t just reinvent yourself because you know you must, especially when you’re trying to navigate the high seas of a fast-changing marketplace. You need a guide.
And that’s the second thing I learned this week. We have people who are willing and able to do the work of teaching, training, encouraging and guiding the development of the next generation of leaders. There is a process available to guide good leaders into greatness.
Rodriguez uses the metaphor of the lighthouse and trains each participant to be that guiding light for others, using their influence to guide people through the reinvention process. I saw him do it for 10 fantastic leaders in Seattle this week and it was awesome to behold, which is why I’m already planning to attend Amplifii again.
Co-Founder and COO at Content Beacon + President at RGA Public Relations