iStock_000027532785Small_299x213If you ever met him you wouldn’t know it, but Gunter is a very special man. Gunter, of all things, is a loan officer for a small bank in Perth, Western Australia. Now in Australia the big four banks rule the industry. If you’re not one of those big four you get the crumbs of the banking business – and are grateful for it.

So when, in 2009, the first waves of the Global Financial Crisis began rolling into the Australian financial sector the bank Gunter worked for had to make some hard decisions.

Very simply put: the problem was that huge lending institutions in America had lent vast sums of money to people who could not pay it back. This problem was compounded by those banks already lending these repayments out again on the expectation they would be repaid (and lending once again to people with no hope of repaying).

What this meant for Gunter’s bank was that there would be a credit squeeze. In other words: Those customers who already had loans with Gunter would not be extended anymore credit; the terms of the initial contract would be upheld to the letter.

Anyone with a business, in fact anyone with even the most cursory interest in finance, can tell you this is not the way business works. Financial opportunities and problems may appear unexpectedly. Having access to credit to seize the former and protect yourself from the latter is an accepted way of business life.

So when Gunter was told there would be no flexibility on his customer’s credit he knew it would destroy at least a dozen clients.

And that hurt Gunter.

These were good hard working people who had done business with him (not just with his bank – with HIM). They had done nothing to deserve a squeeze on their lines of credit. And the ramifications of this squeeze, for some of his clients, were as obvious and as inevitable as a parachute failure.

Gunter knew there was no point arguing with his banking masters. Even if they listened to him (which was doubtful) they would not change their minds. So Gunter wondered if there was another way to nurse his customers through the crisis.

On many previous occasions Gunter had recommended a business coach to clients having business problems. Despite what you may believe it is in no one’s interests for a business to fail – even the banks. So when it appeared more money won’t solve the problems in these businesses were having Gunter recommended they see Lucidity Coaching. Lucididty

Gunter’s plan was to have his bank fund business coaching workshops for his most vulnerable customers. Lucidity Coaching had had consistent and amazing successes with just about everyone he had sent to them. Why not use them in a preventative, rather than last resort, fashion?

Even his banking masters saw the sense in this. Business workshops by Lucidity Coaching would almost guarantee the survival of businesses that otherwise stood no chance. The goodwill created by the bank’s efforts would be most welcome. And the cost of the workshops was insignificant compared to profits to be recouped through the continued loan repayments of the survivors.

And so it happened. Gunter’s customers were asked (very firmly) to attend a fully paid coaching workshop run by Lucidity Coaching and hosted by the bank. They were told why it was so necessary they attend. And they were told to listen very, very carefully.

Today Perth has the highest number of successful businesses per capita anywhere in Australia. The Western Australian economy leads the nation. All of Gunter’s customers survived the Global Financial Crisis because of Lucidity Coaching and they took what they learned to stratospherically improve their businesses in the post-GFC world.

About The Author