ELS Spotlight With Michelle Soden

Michelle Soden is VP/Loan Operations Manager at United Bank in Springdale, Arkansas.

My job responsibilities include managing our loan support staff including loan assistants and the loan document preparation, document imaging, and pre-closing and post-closing review functions. I help make sure we follow all banking rules and regulations as well as our internal policies and procedures while also helping to make sure we get loans closed as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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

It’s not about me…it’s about my teammates. I am only successful when they are successful. I will do whatever I can to help them, support them, stand by them, and always have their back.

What does effective leadership look like to you?

Continuing with that most important leadership lesson…an effective leader is more concerned about their employees than they are themselves. They show that they trust them by letting them do the job they were hired to do, they show that they respect them by being responsive and valuing their time, and they genuinely and consistently show appreciation.

How has leadership changed in 2021?

Leaders have had to be more flexible and compassionate. The last couple of years have been tough for a lot of people. Employees need more flexibility as far as schedules and working remote if possible and when necessary. It’s also important to recognize when your employees are struggling so that you can show compassion and support them in any way possible.

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