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Ed Garding Explains Banking to Class: Many Questions Asked About the Economy

Ed Garding with College of Business studentsLong-time Business Advisory Board (BAB) member and COB champion Mr. Ed Garding spoke to the Entrepreneurial Marketing class on March 15th. Mr. Garding’s presentation was preceded by a reception for Business Advisory Board members, faculty, and students. The presentation included a PowerPoint entitled Banking 101 as well as an explanation of the global financial meltdown that began in 2008. Both students and BAB members peppered Mr. Garding with questions throughout his presentation. An article in the October 19th 2011, issue of the Billings Gazette provides the following biographical information.

In 1971, Garding was just graduating from Eastern College, now Montana State University Billings, when he asked for an interview with First Interstate's president. "I knew I wanted a job in the banking business and I wanted this bank," he said. After the interview, the president thanked him, but said he had absolutely no job openings. Undeterred, Garding said, "This is the only suit that I own and I'm going to put it on every Friday and come and see you until you hire me." Five Fridays later, the president introduced him to Homer Scott Sr., the bank's founder, and Garding soon was hired as the bank's first management trainee. "Now it's 40 years later, and I'm still in the training program," Garding joked.

Ed Garding talks with a business studentAt the end of his presentation Mr. Garding presented the following tips on leadership.

  • Get a set of values and use those values to guide  you in decision-making.
  • As you work your way up through management do not hang onto what you were doing before.
  • The boss may not always be right, but he or she will always be the boss. If you want to argue with your boss you will always lose the argument.
  • Approach your work as if you owned the company.
  • Do not believe that sitting in a chair reading email is work; it is not.
  • Do the right thing even when no one is watching.
  • You can lead from the from, from behind, or from within the crowd. Where to lead from depends on the situation.
  • You know good leadership when you see it.
  • Admit mistakes quick and often and then learn from them.
  • Know that you are honest. Nobody else has to know it if you know it.

Mr. Garding takes over as the new President of First Interstate bank in April.

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