What it takes to be a leader in America

Arkadi Kuhlmann, CEO of ING Direct, shared with me how he grew the ING Direct brand by having a higher purpose and by simplifying the product offering and the message to the marketplace.

I asked Kuhlmann what his original vision was when founding ING direct.

“We really thought that leading Americans back to savings, and doing that by simplifying financial products was a way for us to basically re-connect with the marketplace.”

“It seemed to me that we needed a grass root revolution, that we needed something that was on the ground that people could talk about money without getting caught up with what banks mean and with what banks are suppose to do and how banks work. But basically just lets get a ground swell going and have a bank viewed as a retailer. If we were successful with that brand, just think how big of an impact we could have on the psychology of every day Americans”  Kuhlmann added.

“If your emotional engaged, your intellectually engaged, your personally and financially committed your either going to succeed or fall flat on your face. And I have fallen a few times flat on my face. The good thing about that is though is when I die, my last thoughts are going to be that I gave it one hell of a good run. So I’m not rusting out, I’m burning out and anyone who wants to be a leader in America I think should be on the side of burning it out.

Find out more about Arkadi Kuhlmann, CEO of ING Direct’s ideas for the future of America in our video interview.

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About the Author: Robert Reiss

Robert Reiss is Host of The CEO Show, which features leaders who have reinvented industry through exceptional customer experience models. The show is nationally syndicated by Business TalkRadio Network. Click to hear podcasts of this and oth…

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