Lessons Learned From Chickens, Pigs, and Liars!

Chickens, Pigs and Liars

By Stacey Huddleston, Vice President, Commercial Relationship Manager, Core Bank Loan Production Office

I’m baffled! Nothing my father taught me as a young boy seems to be true today.

Hold Doors for Others

I grew up on a small farm just outside of Moline, Illinois where I absorbed a great deal of fatherly wisdom that was supposed to guide me throughout my life. I remember a day when I quickly ran to our giant red barn to help with chores. My father put his hand on my shoulder just as I flung the door open. He told me to wait until the “ladies” come out. Those ladies were our chickens. Hold the door open for others was a lesson I repeatedly learned growing up.

Help Set the Table

Late one evening, my father woke me with a bright flashlight in my face. I wanted to sleep, but he wanted to show me something miraculous. We walked out to the barn to find our sow, Irma, giving birth to several piglets. Indeed, this was miraculous. My father climbed into the pen and began pushing hay near Irma and placing the piglets so they could feed for the first time. My father reminded me to always help set the table and pull the chair out for your loved ones. (He revisited this lesson just before my first date.)

Your Word is Your Bond

My father once said, “Your word is as good as a contract” when his close friend had lied to him. He taught me the importance of great relationships because of the tremendous value they bring, even if they let us down sometimes. When people frequently communicate with each other, valuable information is shared. Everyone has an opportunity to help each other. He defined friendships as the people who would show up late at night in the rain to help you change a tire.

So why am I baffled?

Maybe we’re too busy to open doors for others anymore. Or we don’t think to pull a chair out for a loved one. It’s the little things that make a difference. A hand-written note to say, “thank you” after an important event, or sending flowers after someone experiences a loss. Grand gestures are great, but it’s the little things that mean the most. And you may never know how powerful your efforts feel to the person receiving your time and attention.

My career happens to depend on my ability to build great relationships. Those closest to me know I’m not the transactional type. I want to hear your story before we begin talking about rates and fees. As my father would say, “Stories are what connect us to one another”. And I’m grateful for the wonderful stories and valuable lessons he taught me along the way.

So, I’ll continue to open doors, pull chairs out, and meet new people knowing that they appreciate a good story and relationship when they see one!