A formal education offers the technical skills needed for a specific field, but education isn’t the only place to learn the skills you need to succeed in your chosen career. A formal education will put you on the right path to be considered for a job and essentially learn “on the job” skills through internships or entry-level positions.

(Photo Courtesy of Warren Taylor)

(Photo Courtesy of Warren Taylor)

Mentors and life lessons are an important part of the learning process.

Warren Taylor, President of Community Banking for Customers Bank, shares his views on education and his career in management.

What is your background in management?

“I became the CFO of a community bank at the age of 26 and then the CEO at 28. During the course of my career, I’ve led both small and large teams of professionals working together toward common goals. As a management style, I’ve studied and sought to implement the best practices and principles of leading industry consultants.”

How has your education fueled your management success?

“My formal education proved that I was capable of learning. But just as important was the knowledge that someone (in my case, my parents) thought investing in me and my education was worthwhile. That led to the realization that the best investment you can ever make is in yourself and in your own education.”

We all begin our educational experience by learning the basic technical skills. Then as we move up in responsibility, it becomes more about emotional intelligence and leadership. The effective implementation of knowledge is real power. And an effective leader demonstrates five traits; clarity of strategy, goals and alignment, mastery of the internal environment, mastery of the external environment, displays a passion for continuous improvement and mentors team members. To understand that integrity, discipline, focus and fair dealings are essential in order to achieve the organization’s strategic vision.”

What advice would you give someone coming out of college right now looking for a career in business management?

“Find a company that you would be proud to work for and make sure their culture and values match up with your own. Don’t chase money! Instead, find something you love to do, then do it well, continue learning, find a great mentor and eventually the money will come. You will spend about half (or more) of your waking hours working at your chosen profession, so you might as well enjoy what you are doing.”

Christina Thompson is a freelance travel writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.