Scott Bigelow | 910.521.6351 | firstname.lastname@example.org
University Communications and Marketing
Friday, November 3, 2006
BB&T CEO Allison offers business, personal advice at UNCP
John Allison, chairman and chief executive officer of BB&T, brought his recipe for business and personal success to The University of North Carolina at Pembroke in a lecture October 30.
John Allison (center) speaks with students.
Allison spoke to a crowd of more than 250 in Moore Hall Auditorium as part of UNCP’s Distinguished Executive Speaker Series sponsored by the School of Business.
Clearly, Allison, 57, knows about success. In 17 years at BB&T’s helm, he took a relatively obscure regional bank and turned it into the nation’s 9th largest financial holding company with more than $118.5 billion in total assets.
“My purpose today is to discuss the relationship between leadership and values,” Allison said. “This is a practical means to success and happiness.”
Allison has laid out his philosophy in a 10-step plan called “The BB&T Philosophy,” which was distributed to everyone in the audience. He told the many students in the audience the time is right to talk about values and philosophy.
“We have a crisis in values in our society today,” he said. “Most people have a hodgepodge of values and contradictory beliefs.”
Most people do not fail for lack of intelligence, but because they evade reality, Allison said.
“IQ is not everything,” he said. “One of the most fundamental successful traits in business is to evade less and stay in focus more.”
Mixed with philosophy, Allison offered some earthy and, perhaps, hard-earned wisdom to live by in and out of the corporate boardroom.
A North Carolina native, Allison joined BB&T in 1971 in Wilson, N.C., and managed in a variety of areas throughout the bank.
“When I started in banking, we loaned a lot of money to farmers. I realized early on that I was not going to be a good old boy, so I focused on helping farmers make better decisions.”
It worked, he said. He became president in 1987 and was elected chairman and CEO in July of 1989. The bank merged with several other North Carolina banks including Southern National and United Carolina Bank, both founded in Southeastern North Carolina.
As of Dec. 31, 2005, BB&T operates more than 1,450 branch offices in the Carolinas, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia, Maryland, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Indiana, and Washington, D.C.
Allison received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Duke University.
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