Leadership Insights from Kelly King, Chairman and CEO of BB&T
Kelly King has forged a lifetime of leadership experience with BB&T, and throughout his time in Executive Management, he has remained committed to leadership development.
King established The BB&T Leadership Institute to provide leadership development programs to corporate executives, business owners, BB&T associates and education leaders to help create dynamic and effective leaders, increase employee retention and improve the bottom line.
Beliefs Drive Behavior
King is convinced of the leadership model’s effectiveness because of the success he has witnessed during a long career and because he has experienced other less effective methods.
“Early in my career at BB&T, I worked for a very negative man,” King says. “That experience helped me realize his negativity and controlling leadership style were detrimental to the organization as well as the individuals who worked for him. The situation was so stark it instilled in me a keen interest in understanding how the best leaders led. After doing some research and gaining exposure to different approaches, like Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s Power of Positive Thinking, I began to investigate how beliefs impact behavior and whether you can change or shape beliefs. Ultimately, I became convinced you can shape beliefs and that will lead to behavioral change.“
Inherent in BB&T’s leadership model is demonstrating beliefs through your behavior. “Demonstrating our beliefs in the communities where we live and work is particularly important. Our BB&T Lighthouse projects are examples of how we model our beliefs,” King says. “Most members of BB&T, including me and my leadership team, work on a project to support and make their communities better places. These are hands-on projects, building, cleaning, repairing, planting, etc. We don’t do these projects with a lot of fanfare. We do them because we are part of the community, the community supports us and it is the right thing to do. It is what leaders do.”
King is proud of BB&T and the commitment of all associates to the vision, mission and values of the organization. “Ask our associates, our middle managers and our senior leadership team members. The words may vary a little, but we all agree our beliefs drive behaviors, which create results. Our approach to leadership has served us well, and I expect it to serve us well into the future.”