Bank on Wipfli - Blog and Podcast


Which Hat Are You Wearing?

Sep 21, 2016
Financial Institutions

Whether literal or metaphorical, we all wear many hats. During the fall, these may include baseball or golf caps, gardening/yard work hats, and bike or football helmets. In our financial institutions, we wear many hats as well. Sometimes the hats change by the week, the day, or the situation in which we find ourselves at any given moment.

Consider the hats we wear in our leadership and management roles. Peter Drucker differentiated the two as, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” We face a seemingly unending list of considerations in choosing which of those two hats is more appropriate. Until you become a “sizable” institution, the leaders of your organization probably have to spend a significant amount of time wearing the management hat—getting things done right. I would argue there is significant risk—perhaps no greater risk—in wearing the management hat too much, to the detriment of truly dedicating time and attention to the leadership hat.

Institutions cannot survive without effective management, but if your institution is heading down the wrong path, then effective management just gets you to the wrong place faster. How much time do you truly devote to wearing your leadership hat? For further insights on wearing your leadership hat, contact your Wipfli Relationship Executive or send an email to


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