TOPIC #1 : Critical Management Skills and Getting Back to Basics
Opportunity abounds in the mortgage industry; as such, new managers and executives face an important balancing act working IN the business of origination, operations and servicing while also managing their teams or divisions. Being both strategic and tactical can be distracting and frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. This presentation is about discovering (or rediscovering) some basic wisdom about management specific to mortgage, but applicable in any industry. In addition, we will review critical skills to be studied, practiced, and mastered – from meeting theory to delegation.
The only law of management that matters is to be true to your core values. Exceptional management isn’t about control or being “the boss,” it is about learning how to build a hyper-performing team by being exactly who you are and knowing how you contribute to the whole. Management is a role in service to the company and your team. A great manager is always planning what to do next, organizing projects, authorizing those who will lead it, sweeping away obstacles and monitoring progress. Mastering management basics is a source of energy and innovation laying the groundwork for success company-wide.
-Understanding the Job of “Manager”
-Being Authentic to Your Core Values
-Four Career Changing Management Skills
“Ruth’s honest, problem-focused feedback targeted the behaviors that were holding back my career growth. We navigated through challenging conversations and devised game plans all while staying authentic to me.” Chelsea Balak, Vice President Operations, wemlo, Re/Max Holdings
This session can be either keynote or an interactive workshop for new and/or seasoned managers looking to improve their management skills.
Bonus Resources: Add Ruth’s course exercises and curated reading list for an extended educational experience. Course exercises and handouts include Hold the Meeting, The Art of Delegation, and Discovering Your Primary Values.
Duration: 60-90 Minutes
TOPIC #2 : The Value of Emotional Intelligence for Mortgage Managers and Loan Officers
The mortgage industry is a people business – and for most people, there is little more personal than their home. Marry that with a complicated process and experience unique to each borrower and originator, well, there are going to be a lot of emotions. So, while having a strong technical knowledge of your craft is critical to your success, the research shows it is only a fraction of the value of emotional intelligence. As mortgage brokers, bankers, investors, and servicers, we solve problems. We are problem eaters. And problems cause frustrations, arguments, and misunderstandings.
EQ is the ability to understand, use and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others to relieve stress, communicate effectively, and defuse conflict. Let’s face it, EQ was made for the mortgage business. This presentation explores the five components of EQ, which are further broken down into “Self” or self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, and “Other” or empathy and social skill. This is a fun class that invites a lot of self-reflection and offers important techniques for gaining insight into yourself, your team, and your customers.
-Understanding the components of Emotional Intelligence
-Discussing research and ROI associated with EQ Training
-Learning how to identify the compnents of EQ within yourself and your team
-Growing the EQ of yourself and your team
This session can be either keynote or an interactive workshop for loan officers, operations staff, or executive teams. The EQ workshop can also be turned into a five-part series curated for both executive and non-executive teams.
Bonus Resources: Add Ruth’s course exercises and curated reading list for an extended educational experience. Course exercises and handouts include Self-Awareness Exercises, Being Mindful, Empathy Games to Know Your Customer, and Discovering Your Primary Values.
Duration: 60-90 Minutes
TOPIC #3 : Why ROI of Diversity & Inclusion Matters in the Mortgage Industry (DEI)
Mortgage banking is, more than ever, reliant on diversity and inclusion in building hyper-performing teams. Higher degrees of success are found by adopting a mission-level commitment to not just listening to but celebrating the different perspectives and experiences. While social consciousness plays a role, there are very compelling competitive advantages to having a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment.
• Diverse management teams deliver 19% higher revenues from innovation compared to their less diverse counterparts (BCG)
• Companies with a diverse set of employees enjoy 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee (Bersin)
• In the UK, for every 10% increase in gender diversity on the senior executive team, EBIT rose by 3.5% (McKinsey)
• Overview of Diversity and Inclusion (DEI) Strategies
• Approaching your DEI Strategy
• Specific Strategies:
– Women and Minorities
– Age diversity – From Gen Z to Boomers
– The growing impact of neurodiversity
• Monitoring your success
Bonus Resources: Add Ruth’s course exercises and curated reading list for an extended educational experience. Course exercises and handouts include Assessing Your DEI, Insights on Building an Effective DEI Program, and Activities to Build DEI in Your Team.
Duration: 60-Minute Keynote Address
About Ruth Lee
“Mortgage is my sport.” Ruth’s mantra reflects her passion for mortgage banking – the players, the winners, and the best teams. It is what she most enjoys reading about and researching from origination to servicing. Having spent a lot of time in the weeds with deep operational and compliance roots, Ruth relishes crafting increasingly competitive and efficient technology and processes. But she has also spent a lot of time reviewing tape and has dedicated a significant part of her professional education to improving her mastery of leadership, personal and professional development, team building, and critical executive functions.
Ruth’s curiosity is born of an analog frustration at the sheer lack of automation and technology in early 90s origination. Having built a mortgage company in the mid-90s in Austin, Texas, Ruth learned to navigate the very manual processes and lack of effective reporting and data plaguing her business model. After her exit from Westlake Mortgage in 2006, she moved to Colorado full time and opened a national fulfillment company, Titan Lenders Corp, as a cutting-edge technology-enabled service provider. The sub-prime meltdown honed her ability to pivot at the helm of her startup’s product development, sales, and marketing teams. She helped evolve some highly specific and innovative technology in data, compliance, and quality control. Ruth realized her vision by selling and marketing into one new market after the next – from hard money to warehouse lending to housing finance agencies to servicing. She is most proud of her ability to carefully curate both profitable products and successful Go to Market strategies by leveraging a core set of process expertise and technology.
Through the years, Ruth dedicated a lot of time to state, local and national associations. In 2017, Ruth completed a yearlong project leading the MBA Servicing Committee’s development of the Industry’s Best Practices for Mortgage Servicing Transfers for Fannie, Freddie and Ginnie loans. In 2018, she sat for and passed her written and oral testing as an MBA Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB). Today her association time is spent sponsoring new MBA Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB candidates.
Since selling Titan Lenders Corp in 2018, Ruth went back to her roots in product development, building a new liquidity advisory channel for a prominent MSR analytics firm. For a short time, she worked with another FinTech before committing herself to an idea simmering in the background – Big Think. When you have a problem to solve, sometimes you just need a Big Think. Whether working with companies rethinking process or being an executive surrogate for a specific product, project, team or division, Ruth is experiencing deep satisfaction living her highest and best use, one of true service.
“A brain trust coalesces on teams of which she is a member, and Ruth’s leadership skills repeatedly create outcomes in which the whole of a team is greater than the sum of its parts. She is always seen leading teams to accomplish what they could not without her.”
Stephen Wojnar, CMB, CMT, Principal at Battalion Group, LLC.
Ruth has a degree in Economics and Politics from Mount Holyoke College. She attended the World Championships for Parliamentary debate three times and is a newly chaptered member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. A proud Mexican American and Cajun American woman, she lives with her best decision, Mike Lee, in Lakewood, CO with her lovable black lab, Ned, and her two cats, Adams and Jefferson. An accomplished skier and avid scuba diver, Ruth likes to see what is over the horizon and under the surface in life, in family, and in business.
• 2021 Women with Vision Award Winner
• 2020 Most Powerful Women in FinTech Award Winner
• 2019 Lending Luminary
• 2018 Certified Mortgage Banker Graduate
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