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Leading for Growth: How Umpqua Bank Got Cool and Created a Culture of Greatness

ISBN: 978-1-118-04723-1
240 pages
January 2011, Jossey-Bass
Leading for Growth: How Umpqua Bank Got Cool and Created a Culture of Greatness (1118047230) cover image
How any business leader can create an atmosphere of competitiveness for exceptional growth

When Ray Davis took over the local 40-person South Umpqua Bank in 1994, many people in the industry poked fun at his insistence that employees answer the phone with a cheery "World's Greatest Bank." Eleven years, $7 billion in assets, and 128 branches (or " bank stores" in Umpqua lingo) later, the moniker seems quite apt. Other banks scratched their heads when Davis sent his tellers to Ritz-Carlton to learn customer service and were intrigued when he hired a cutting-edge design firm to completely re-think retail layout. Now, with a top design award under their belt, a name change (there never was a North Umpqua bank), and a completely new definition of the banking business, Umpqua has become the darling of the entrepreneurial press and a growth powerhouse. The New York Times calls Umpqua "Starbucks with tellers."

Ray Davis (Portland, OR), named by U.S. Banker as one of the 25 most influential people in the financial industry in 2005, is President and CEO of Umpqua Holdings Corporation. Alan Shrader (Moraga, CA) is an experienced writer and editor of business books.

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Introduction: There Is No Door Number Three.


1. What Business Are You Really In?

2. Never-Ending Discipline.

3. Have Positive Passion.

4. Snap the Rubber Band Syndrome.

5. What’s Going On Behind Your Back?


6. Support Your People—and Hold ’Em Accountable.

7. Give Them the Power.

8. Rise Above the Battlefield.

9. Explain Your Movie.

10. Be Real.


11. Sweat the Small Stuff.

12. Who Do You Want on Your Bus?

13. Keep Your Board Strong—and Informed.

14. Intangibles Matter Most.


15. Find the Revolution Before It Finds You.

16. Your Brand Is You.

17. Serve the Customer.

18. Put Design into Everything You Do.


19. Be There.

20. Keep Your Balance.

21. Remember Who You Are.

22. Mergers and Acquisitions Done Right.

Conclusion: Making Relentless Progress.


The Authors.


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Ray Davis—Ernst & Young's 2004 Regional Retail Entrepreneur of the Year—is a pioneer of change in the banking industry, revolutionizing how banks look, feel, sound, and operate. He is the president and CEO of Umpqua Holding Corporation and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Fast Company, BusinessWeek, Business 2.0, Newsweek, and CNBC. Umpqua was named to Fortune Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" list in 2007. Ray lives with his wife, Bobbi, in Portland, Oregon.

Alan Shrader is managing editor of Leader to Leader and an experienced writer and editor of business books.

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Ray Davis addresses many of the key issues we face in continuing to drive growth at Nike—staying connected with the consumer, leading change, building the brand, and cultivating a strong corporate culture. He offers clear solutions and creative leadership approaches for all business leaders, regardless of industry."
—Charlie Denson, president, Nike Brand

"Leading for Growth presents an inspiring and powerful set of lessons about growing a company from a leader who has 'been there and done that.' The book is relevant to anyone in a leadership position faced with the need to change a culture and/or grow successfully—essentially, all of us."
—Eric Flamholtz, president, Management Systems Consulting Corporation, and professor of management, Anderson School, UCLA

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