Archive for April, 2009

Boston Marathon 2009: Inspiration, Creativity and Persistence

April 23, 2009   Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments | Email This Post | Print This Post

Monday, April 20, 2009, found my wife and me at the 14 mile mark of the 113th Boston Marathon volunteering on behalf of my running club, the Greater Framingham Running Club. Marathon day served up three noteworthy stories among thousands that may apply to those of us in the banking and mortgage industries.


Needham Bank, a local bank in my Wellesley, MA, community, used creativity and personal initiative to participate in the Marathon day experience. Leaving the cozy confines of their branch, the bank set up a sidewalk booth outside where staff personally handed out free popcorn and water to the hundreds of spectators that passed their location during the day. The photo says it all -bankers personally engaging the public at a world-famous event.

Needham Bank employees could have taken the day off and joined the ranks of spectators. These bankers, however, took advantage of a major event that literally passed the doors of their branch and demonstrated creativity and initiative.


Two moving examples of inspiration were among of the thousands of personal marathon stories. Richard Whitehead, 32, of Nottingham, England, inspired the crowd with his amazing achievement. As you can see from the photo, Richard is a double amputee. He sped by us at Mile 14, finishing the marathon in 3:02:44. A world record holder, he conquered a grueling course in an exceptional time. Facing cold temperatures, headwinds and the famous hills of Boston, he competed with the objective of recruiting other amputees to join him in the sport.


Team Hoyt, Dick and Rick, completed their 1,000 athletic event Monday. Once a Massachusetts inspiration, Team Hoyt has become an internationally known team with thousands of fans. I’ve run many races with Team Hoyt including the 1983 Bostonfest Marathon where we ran six-minute miles during the early part of the race. Ultimately, they left me in their wake as they powered through the course. I’ve always been impressed with their persistence.

One takeaway for those of us in financial services is this – persistence will get you to the finish line. We too can handle times of adversity and can accomplish things that some may think impossible. Richard Whitehead and Team Hoyt, along with many other inspiring personal examples, demonstrated this.

Another takeaway is that banks can connect with their communities by creatively taking advantage of popular community events. Bankers can meet their neighbors, one-by-one, and begin the process of converting consumers into long-term customers. Needham Bank showed us an example of this strategy.

Welcome to Twice Focused with Jim Jones

April 1, 2009   Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments | Email This Post | Print This Post

In two weeks I’ll begin to blog regularly about the banking and mortgage industries. Incredibly, right now both industries are experiencing massive change and punishing turmoil. The goals of Twice Focused are to be highly informative, distinctive and constructive. I will aim for commentary that is relevant, interesting and meaningful to those who work in the banking and mortgage industries.

I look forward to your comments about each topic. My job will be to introduce an interesting topic, provide a perspective and then support a stimulating discussion among a group of professionals.

About Jim Jones

James D. Jones, a national speaker for 16 years, has presented to financial services and mortgage audiences for organizations of all sizes.More >


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