Words of Wisdom with James Beckwith, President & CEO, Five Star Bank

At Metro EDGE, we know true mentors are hard to come by these days and that our members are eager to learn what it takes to be successful. Words of Wisdom is a new series featuring some of Sacramento’s brightest CEOs, executives and leaders sharing their advice with the region’s young professionals. Flip your brain over to sponge mode and soak this up.

 James Beckwith

James Beckwith
President & CEO, Five Star Bank
Email: jbeckwith@fivestarbank.com

What are some things you wish you’d known as you embarked on your career:

1.  It’s about more than credit. There is no limit to the success a team can achieve if no one worries about who gets credit.

2.  Consider motives.  WIIFM (what’s in it for me) is the most listened to radio station in the world. Think beyond the situation at hand.

3. Trust yourself: Trust yourself and your instincts.

4. True colors always shine through. Given a chance, people will be themselves.

Did you have a mentor? If so, what was the most important piece of advice they gave you?

1. Do not confuse effort with results.

2. Don’t try … do.

How did/do you handle work/life balance?

Honestly, I don’t understand this concept. For me, there is no work/life balance there’s just LIFE! If you need to coach your kid’s baseball team at 3pm you be there… if you need to finish a report at 1am you do it. There is no distinction between the two.  Don’t try to balance, just live and trust that you will do right by all concerned.

Do you have any suggestions of books, articles, websites, etc. that might help a young professional?

I would suggest the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, and the local Business Journal for business news.  I recently finished Hot, Flat and Crowed by Thomas L. Friedman … it was a good read.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the 40 and under business professionals in our region?

Work hard but play hard too. The most important thing you can do is to improve yourself … all work toward that end will be worthwhile.