Just one year into her career at Standard Bank, Marketing Head of Personal and Business Banking Lindy-Lou Alexander had a fast start in the industry, supporting and deploying the marketing programmes for some of Standard Bank’s biggest innovations to date.

Speaking with Lindy-Lou Alexander in the few free minutes she has before heading off to host a workshop, one would never say that this accomplished woman has been in banking for only 12 months. “My first stint was launching our big repositioning campaign: You’re Good to Go. We’d been working with What’s Your Next for quite some time, and it felt like the right concept to follow on from that. W e’d given our clients time to think about what they wanted, now we want to encourage them to take that step and do it,” she says.

Being in the marketing division, Alexander has been involved with taking numerous innovations to market. “In my time at Standard Bank, we’ve launched a fantastic ecosystem called Standard Bank Home Services. This is an open platform that enables clients to apply for a loan, calculate the repayment and fundraise. There’s also the personal loan that may be approved within seconds via our online banking channels.”

With the Fourth Industrial Revolution in full swing and major emphasis on convenience, banks are finding new and creative ways to keep their customers interested, says Alexander.

“Many of the innovations we’re pushing out are digital that speak to convenience. Customers want immediate responses to their requests. They also want to get something back, which is why we’re seeing many rewards and loyalty programmes emerge, with banks hoping to use these programmes to retain clients in the long term.”

These changes in how banks – and many other businesses – conduct their operations have had a ripple effect, impacting leadership across industries. “Leadership has changed,” says Alexander. “A great leader in this era is authentic and knows how to inspire their followers to do their best. With the democratisation of knowledge, it’s not simply the person who is the most knowledgeable or educated who is the best leader.

“ A GREAT LEADER NEEDS TO INSTIL AND INSPIRE THEIR TEAM WITH PURPOSE, AND GIVE THEM A VISION THAT WILL DRIVE THEM TOWARDS SUCCESS.

Lindy-Lou Alexander

Marketing Head of Personal and Business Banking, Standard Bank

“A great leader needs to instil and inspire their team with purpose, and give them a vision that will drive them towards success. Leaders today must be bold and brave, and must stand up to inspire those who are entering the workforce.”

On the topic of women succeeding in the workplace, Alexander advises that women “focus, keep [their] eye on the prize, find a mentor and find sponsors who can speak for you”.

In addition to this, she says women should focus on building credibility. And there’s no better way to do this than by sitting down and getting the job done. “Credibility comes from doing the work. Once you’ve established your credibility, then you can have conversations around bigger issues,” she concludes.

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