On the Rocks with Mark McFatridge

After leading Metropolitan National Bank through a merger, Mark McFatridge, now CEO of Bear State Financial and Bear State Bank, has words of wisdom to share. We sat down at Barley, Wheat & Rye to knock back a few drinks and talk strategy.

By Claire Porter | Photo by Brandon Alms

Nov 2015

On the Rocks with Mark McFatridge

“To me, everything is about culture.”

“It’s important to learn your strengths, but it’s probably more important to learn your weaknesses and then learn how to compensate for them, or mitigate them, or hire people who are stronger in that area and let them run.”

“You get a lot of responsibility at a young age with no experience, and you just capitalize on it. You keep asking good questions, and you have good mentors—people you can pull aside and go, ‘Okay, what does that mean?’”

“I think if there have been some mistakes, it would go both ways: I didn’t push hard enough and fast enough to get what we needed to get done, or I pushed too hard and burnt people out.”

“I was going around my first 60 days having meetings both formal and impromptu throughout different levels in the organization. I’d ask two questions: ‘What do we do really well?’ and ‘What do we stink at?’”

“One of my philosophies is the three Es: You’ve got to educate people, you’ve got to empower them, and then you’ve got to energize them.”

“I think one of my successes has been to allow people to be themselves and not try to structure people into boxes.”

“Today I still don’t consider myself a banker. I consider myself a leader.”

“Find something you have a passion for and get as involved as you can afford to do. Time, talent or treasure.”

“You have to understand that everything is a relationship, and that they can make or break you. As long as you go into it the right way, you’re going to be very, very successful.”