Lending Leaders
A Person-First Approach to Lending

Alayna Gardner sits down with Travis Dyson, VP of Sales at Flagstar Bank, on the power of relationships in lending, the importance of planning, and the primacy of putting people first.

The Need for a Roadmap

Running a successful lending operation is not easy. Especially when the market changes so much, and the target is constantly moving. One of the most crucial differentiators of success is a roadmap—a plan for how to navigate change, how to earmark progress, and how to correct course if necessary. This is essential, not just for protecting the bottom line and closing as many files as possible, but also for protecting your staff from unnecessary turnover. Hiring and firing are both expensive and time-consuming, after all.

Learning from Challenges and Failures

In addition to an initial plan, leaders need to be adaptive. They need to be able to identify failures and challenges quickly, not ignore them, and change the plan as needed. No plan goes off without a hitch. There will always be bumps along the road. The measure of success isn’t the absence of change or failure, but the speed with which you can adapt to both.

Leaving a Positive Impact

One of Travis’s mentors pulled him aside once and asked him, “What value do you bring to your relationships?” It was a striking question. It became a personal goal for Travis going forward to leave every conversation, engagement, and relationship in a better place than he found it. He wanted his presence to always signal a positive impact. And that drive—that person-first approach to all he does—is a guiding light for him in his life and work.


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