Last week I had the opportunity to attend ‘An Evening with Vernon Hill at Metro Bank’s UK Head Office Holborn. Vernon Hill II is the founder of Metro Bank UK and Commerce Bankcorp, which he founded in 1973. Commerce Bank went on to become the fastest growing bank in the US before being sold in 2007 for $8.5 billion. Mr Hill reinvented American retail banking. No one else has grown an American bank internally at 25% per year for over 30 years, and his model has shown that it is far better to compete on service than on price. I attended the evening because I was fascinated by his book “Fans, not customers – How to Create Growth Companies in a No Growth World”, and having witnessed the presence and self belief of the man, I, for one, would not bet against him revolutionising Retail Banking in the UK too!

Mr Hill was ably assisted on the night by the equally charismatic John Rosling,UK CEO of Shirlaws, the international business performance organisation. John was talking about his book ‘More money, More time, Less stress’, and his presentation was a timely reminder of the reasons why people make most of their decisions in a why (values) rather than what (benefits) mode. John explained that the “core” or “limbic brain” (sometimes called the “crocodile brain”) was formed before the development of language and what we consider “rational thought”. It is in the limbic brain that “feelings” reside and key decisions are made. The outer layers (“neo-cortex”) are used for language, rational thought, processing etc. So, simplistically, relationship choices (with people and “brands”) are made at a “feeling”, pre-language level and then post-rationalised to satisfy our thinking mind. What this means is that beliefs and values are vital for creating effective and valuable customer and staff relationships. People buy values and beliefs over benefits – and that applies to the customers you want to attract and the talent you want to employ and retain.

Taking this explanation to the next logical step, by better understanding the enormous impact that our own unconscious mind (limbic brain) has on the choices and decisions that we are making on a daily basis, the better we are able to consciously recognise when we are acting – or reacting – emotionally rather than on a purely rational, logical basis.

Core to the principles of The Charisma Model Programme is the understanding that many of the beliefs and values that, over the years, become programmed into our unconscious minds are unhelpful, destructive, self – limiting and self-sabotaging. Somewhat inconveniently, this unhelpful programming is often completely hidden from our conscious awareness. If that’s not bad enough, the beliefs and value systems that hold us back are sometimes not even ours to own– they are the beliefs of our parents, teachers, or other significant role models from our formative years.

By identifying, understanding, accepting (and from time to time, re-imprinting) our unconscious programming, we are able to bring any self-limiting beliefs into our conscious awareness and control. By recognizing and listening to the important messages that our unconscious mind is trying to tell us when it spectacularly creates the latest event in (what we will suddenly see as) a pattern of self sabotaging behaviours or career limiting decisions, we will be able to exert a level of control over what we once considered to be ‘fate’.

In closing his session, Vernon Hill’s final piece of advice was that you can try to cost-cut your way to prosperity, or you can grow your way to prosperity. He explained that he believes in the latter. We survive, or we grow – and at a cellular level, it is impossible to do both at the same time. 

“ I believe you have unlimited potential to be all you can be.

Your company – large or small – needs you to succeed and grow.

You have the potential to be a star.”

Vernon W.Hill II

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