Baptiste, executive director at Republic Bank.
lot of who I am came from the foundation I got at St Joseph
Boys and St Marys College. Those two schools gave
me the platform to excel, declared Nigel Baptiste
in his new position as executive director at Republic Bank.
After he equipped himself with first and second degrees
in economics, Baptiste joined the bank in March 1991 as
a management trainee in the Economic Intelligence Unit.
Prior to this, he worked at the Caribbean Development Bank
(CDB), Barbados as country economist for two years.
Making upward movements every two-and-a-half years, he has
held numerous positions.
Following the management trainee programme, he became corporate
manager of corporate division, then area credit manager
at the San Fernando Commercial Centre.
Two years later, he got the opportunity to go across to
Guyana to be the managing director of the subsidiary, National
Bank of Industry and Commerce.
He returned as general manager of human resources and is
now an executive director.
Thirty-nine years of age, Baptiste is involved in various
exercise activities and has a passion for horses.
The bank has re-structured so that Baptistes portfolio
covers commercial and retail banking, corporate operations
and process improvement. He is also responsible for information
technology, marketing and overseas operations.
Striking a balance:
balance is by having extremely good support from family
and workers. You have to find the time to strike a balance.
A management challenge:
think differently and lead individually. You need to understand
and recognise that people are individuals and the same management
style will not work for everyone.
think differently means adding value. Somebody has to ask
a question from a different perspective, to stimulate people
to look at different angles and force others to think differently.
Favourite part of the job:
challenges are constant.
Waste of time:
living up to your potential, especially when you have the
ability to achieve anything. If you wanted to be something
or someone and you did not, then you would have wasted your
A successful manager:
The secret to success is to:
a) Put confidence in the people working for you so that
they feel empowered to do their best and to take chances.
b) Be willing to dirty your hands as workers look to you
c) Have a solid academic foundation. Know in depth what
you are talking about, not so much because you are performing
in the area you studied but because the area you studied
would have given you a certain discipline of thought. That
discipline is what you are confident about.
d) Know your weaknesses. Nobody expects you to be an expert
in everything. Have the ability to discern those who know
more and call upon them. Learn from their experiences.
What makes a lasting impression:
I do not expect people to get everything right all the time.
I expect that you are honest with yourself and with those
who you are dealing with. That gives me the confidence to
give that person more challenges.
information. Treat employees as valued members of the team.
If you are a valued member I should be able to share information
with you expecting you will treat it confidentially.
in the decision-making. People like to know that their views
are considered. Be straight forward with individuals.
People take pride in their work:
showing enthusiasm. If people do not like what they are
doing, you see it coming out in the errors made and absenteeism.
must recognise that conflict is inevitable, conflict is
not a bad thing. You do not own a position; you borrow the
position and are open to suggestions.
your homework and arm yourself with facts and not emotions,
facts that can be proven independently of you having said
so. Understand the other person, the forces that are at
play on the other side.
How do you encourage
believe that employee development resides with the employee.
However, organisations have to create the environment for
development. Create incentive programmes for studying and
in turn provide the opportunities. One should study not
necessarily to get a diploma or degree, but study to earn
Employee retention tip:
yourself and what you would like to achieve.
Art of War by Sun Tzu. The analogy of the book helps you
to understand yourself, staff and the competition. It gives
you a sense of self-confidence. Do not take disagreements
personally. In professional life disagreements are professional.
What I look for in a job candidate:
internally driven and dynamic individual. Somebody that
has a passion for what they are doing.
person with the right exposure. One who would not be satisfied
until they take things to the next level.
need to understand that they are employees as well and it
is not a question of them and us, it is really we.
need to understand as well that they did not land here as
managers. You need to understand that the employee is on
their way and could be potentially better.
potential can be greater than your potential and you need
to nurture that and not feel challenged by it.