A little over a year later, after Zack had been branch manager at the new location for ten months, he received a call from Mr. Grabowski one morning. He told Zack he had received the latest quarterly financials and wanted to meet Zack for a business lunch at the local country club to review them together.
Zack was anxious to hear what Mr. Grabowski wanted to discuss in the meeting. Business at Zack’s branch was doing very well, but Mr. Grabowski had never invited him to lunch before. So Zack was not sure what to expect when he sat down at the table for lunch.
“Good afternoon, Zack. Thank you for meeting me on such short notice.”
“No problem, Mr. Grabowski. I’m happy to meet with you anytime.”
“Excellent. By the way, you can call me Charlie.”
“Well, thank you Mr. Grabows…I mean, Charlie!” Zack replied nervously, and they both laughed.
“Zack, I won’t beat around the bush any longer. The numbers at your branch are exceeding all expectations. New customer accounts are up, revenue is up, and most importantly, your branch is already much more profitable than I ever would have projected nearly one year after opening a new branch. That is quite an accomplishment. You have a natural instinct for banking.”
“Thank you, Mr. Grabowski. I work very hard, and it’s very rewarding to hear you say that.”
“Please Zack, call me Charlie.”
“Oh. OK, sir,” Zack replied, feeling uncomfortable about the growing causal relationship with the bank president. That went against everything he was taught by his parents.
“Zack, but that is not the real reason I asked you to lunch today,” Charlie Grabowski said, as he took a sip of water.
“You know that all of my children have decided to build their careers outside of banking. I started this bank myself with some money my father left me nearly forty years ago, and I couldn’t be more proud of where it is today. My original intent was to make this a family business that I could pass on to my kids and then eventually to my grandchildren. Unfortunately, that is not going to happen, so now I am going with Plan B. Plan B is to find a partner who can make this bank even more successful so that I know First National Bank will be around for a very long time, even after I am no longer around.”
Mr. Grabowski paused again. Both he and Zack took sips of their water.
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