Robb emphasizes engagement, positive attitude to tackle banking challenges

In his first speech as ABA chair today, Dan Robb emphasized the importance of advocacy for bankers at all levels. Reflecting on his own career, Robb noted that outgoing Missouri Bankers Association CEO Max Cook “got me involved in advocacy when I was still in my twenties through Missouri’s Target Banker program. I got to know my lawmakers in Jefferson City. I was honestly surprised at first to learn just how much they valued my opinion on banking issues—but once you realize that no one can be an expert in everything, it makes sense that you—as a banking professional—can be a valuable source of knowledge and perspective.”

Robb, who is also president and CEO of Jonesburg State Bank in Jonesburg, Missouri, added a message to “our emerging leaders who are here: Don’t miss the opportunity to build these relationships! Your voice matters, and ABA cannot be as effective as we want to be without your participation and energy.”

Robb also encouraged bankers to tackle challenges with a positive mental attitude. “Scientific research increasingly shows that dispositional optimism—that is, the propensity toward a positive mental attitude—brings all kinds of benefits,” he told attendees at ABA’s Annual Convention in Austin. “Unsurprisingly, optimistic and positive people are more motivated. They’re also quicker and more likely to resolve conflicts. And when optimists do encounter problems or obstacles, as we all do in life. they’re more likely to deal with them head on and overcome them.” Noting challenges like inflation, unrest around the world, worries about recession and policy challenges for banks, Robb said the “we can choose to approach these difficult months ahead with anxiety and fear, or we can approach them with a positive mental attitude.”