ELS Spotlight With Barry Hickmon

Barry Hickmon is the Bookkeeping Manager for First Service Bank in Greenbrier, Arkansas.

Daily, I am responsible for direction of the bookkeeping, wires/eft, fraud, and accounts payable departments. These departments encompass all accounting and electronic activities at the bank. I am also in charge of administration of multiple software applications and participate in vendor contract negotiations/research. I am heavily invested in the development and promotion of company culture standards.

What is the most important leadership lesson that you’ve learned?

When I learned the difference between leading and managing. I spent far too long focused on processes; leadership is about people. Prioritizing development and strategy in people led to deeper engagement, higher morale, and better results. Truly value skills and be open to differing opinions. If you trust and empower your teams, they will accomplish far more than you could imagine.

What is the greatest advice you have ever been given?

I would say there are two pieces of advice that have resonated with me as a leader. One is be highly selective in the people you hire. Surround yourself with people that are far smarter than you are and help them to be successful. Secondly, is to be genuine in your words and actions to your associates and superiors. Every person deserves to know where they stand.

What is the most effective daily habit you possess?

It is so important for me to remain engaged with my team. It is a nonnegotiable piece of my day that brings a great deal of joy. I make it a priority to remain attentive and focused on each person’s successes and opportunities. If they are successful then so am I.

The ELS Spotlight is an ongoing series to highlight our Emerging Leaders from around Arkansas.