"Civic pride is an undervalued ingredient in a region’s success”

Travis Liebig, CEO - Saint Louis Bank

The threads of what first made St. Louis great—its location, and the openmindedness and work ethic of its people—are the same threads that will tie the city to greatness far into the future. Growing up in a small town on the Mississippi river a couple of hours north, I always looked to St. Louis as a beacon of inspiration, and though I have been here twenty years now, that feeling hasn’t gone away.

What I am describing is civic pride, an ingredient we possess but that I think is undervalued in this region’s success. It’s something we talk a lot about at Saint Louis Bank, in terms of reinvesting in the community and demonstrating that we understand our local businesses, because we are a local business, too. Feeling like we are part of the overall business landscape in our region is one of the most rewarding parts of this job, and it is something only possible in banking.

Today, St. Louis is brimming with innovators who see the world differently and are intently focused on creating a better future. The narrative throughout our region has begun to shift, too, as our attention moves from the past—what we were—to progress and possibility—what we can become. Innovators are successful because when they encounter a challenge, they do so with the positive belief that they can create a solution.

As humans, we are almost genetically wired to give priority to the negatives over the positives as a means of survival. Yet, when it comes to building an ecosystem of innovation, our state of mind and regional narrative must lead with an optimistic belief in what we can become. Our civic pride can be the lens through which we and others imagine our future.

When we believe in what is possible, stay focused, and connect more people around us to our positive narratives, then the momentum we can build is extraordinary. From a leadership perspective, connecting like-minded individuals to share in one another’s narratives—both of personal success and the region’ —is something St. Louis is doing a great job at, and I think we’ll continue to improve upon it.

It is time to celebrate our potential. We must stay focused and work toward what we can become; continuing to look toward the past is not necessarily the way to get us where we want to go. When we focus our attention on the positive narratives, then we become innovators, too, moving forward with the belief that we can create a better version of who we are.

Travis Liebig is the CEO of Saint Louis Bank. Travis has served as a community banker for nearly two decades, learning banking from the bottom up. He has held executive-level roles in retail and private banking, and small business and commercial lending. In the summer of 2018, Travis led a group of investors in the purchase of Saint Louis Bank, a community bank that specializes in lending to small- to mid-sized businesses. His focus today is on positioning the young bank headquartered in the leafy St. Louis suburbs for long-term growth and success.

Saint Louis Bank

(314) 851-6200
14323 South Outer 40 Road, St. Louis, MO 63017

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