Lindsay Borgeson, senior vice president of deposit services at Core Bank, says there was never a grand plan behind her entering the banking profession, and certainly nothing to suggest it would turn into a career.
“I had a part-time teller job through college, intending to follow my marketing degree,” she said matter-of-factly. “I think that’s a common story for folks in banking: start as a teller and things evolve from there. Never thought about banking, but shockingly found a passion, especially in community banking.”
As inauspicious as her introduction to banking may have been, the arc of her career has been nothing short of exemplary. In a little more than a decade, she’s risen through the ranks of the company enjoying successively more responsibility as she went. Among the areas that have blossomed under leadership are retail banking, consumer lending and currently, oversight of treasury services.
She said the variety of tasks is what makes the work interesting, but it’s the consistent focus on the community that she’s most passionate about.
“The community banking part drove my passion because one, you get to wear a lot of hats,” she said. “I was able to learn a lot very quickly about many facets of the industry.
“Also, community banking invests so much back into the communities they serve. All of our customers are considered high value. We help people from the ground up when talking about starting businesses. I really enjoy that component.”
Building New Business
Borgeson said such institutions are also enjoying a new prominence in the marketplace, thanks to banking technology, which has leveled the playing field with larger institutions. But, she added, it’s a competitive advantage that runs both ways.
“The march of technology, the way people want to bank and the emergence of different fintechs that are out there mean it’s a new ballgame in terms of your competition,” she said. “People used to look to the bank across the street a lot and now competition is coming from many different areas.”
Throughout her career, Borgeson has always run toward challenges, not away from them and that mentality continues to this day. She’s recently been tasked by executive leadership to develop a department specifically focused on the health care market and through her efforts and expertise, Core Bank is rapidly gaining ground in serving medical professionals, physicians and professional/medical practices.
Outside the Comfort Zone
For her part, Borgeson not only sees such assignments as expanding market opportunities but as a day-in, day-out living classroom for personal and professional development.
“What’s been consistent in my career here is leaders within the organization have given me opportunities that maybe I wasn’t ready for, but they believed in me and believed I could get there. They pushed me outside of my comfort zone,” she said.
“Currently, our CEO empowered me to build our health care banking department and while it was maybe a stretch for me, having that support and that cheerleading behind you helps you believe in yourself and makes you think you can do anything.”
In turn, Borgeson emulates that same leadership philosophy to her direct reports, providing a balanced diet of challenging assignments and unwavering support and mentoring.
“The two biggest factors in my leadership style are empathy and empowerment,” she said. “The servant leadership approach is what I do. I’m a big proponent of giving people an opportunity for things, then helping them along the way.
“At the same time, my management style is very individualized to the person. I always tell people, ‘I want your authentic self to reach a goal. I’m here to provide the guardrails, but you need to define your own path.’”