Regional Recurring Field Exam Manager, Southwest Region, PNC Business Credit
40 Under 40 Category: Internal Field Examination
Jan Tammen is the regional recurring field exam manager – Southwest Region for PNC Business Credit. In his current position, Jan is responsible for managing and developing a team of 12 field examiners working on regional and national field exams. He also recently took on the role of training manager for all field exam new hires across PNC Business Credit’s national footprint.
Jan joined PNC Bank in 2011 as a senior field examiner in the Corporate Banking group, after working as an outsource field examiner. He then transitioned to Business Credit in 2014 and became a field exam manager in the Mid-Atlantic region in 2015, before transferring to Dallas in 2016 for his current role.
He graduated from Elizabethtown College with a bachelor’s degree in International Finance and Marketing.
How would you define what a good leader is, and what can you do to reflect those characteristics as you progress in your career?
In my experience, a great leader is someone who cannot only perform the work at the highest level, but is willing and able to inspire others to grow in their abilities. This inspiration, in good leaders, does not come from titles or biographies, but the willingness to go above and beyond for the team and the cause at hand, whatever the pursuit. A leader without this commitment quickly becomes a person walking alone, thus holding back not only their team but themselves.
A great leader will build a strong foundation for their team by building up others to, in turn, become leaders. This, more than anything, allows for long-term and shared success.
As I progress in my own career, I try to make it a point to lead more by example than by title, be it by spending time with younger examiners and other professionals to help them understand complex ideas, helping out on exams if an unexpected situation arises, or by having monthly training calls with my team to share some of the stories and best practices that I gathered over the course of my career.
I also encourage individuals on my team to develop their own leadership skills by giving them challenging exam assignments, putting them in charge of training others once they are comfortable , and allowing them to use their experience to help create tools for use across our department. This not only allows them to grow, but also helps to inspire others.
What advice do you normally give to the junior talent you mentor/what advice would you give to forthcoming generation of talent aspiring to win this award?
The biggest piece of advice I give junior talent is to work on establishing their own personal brand. As field examiners, this can be hard to do, since our work is, by definition and requirement, very matter of fact. It is, however, in our operational and interpersonal approach to the work that we can create differentiation and build a reputation.
You can be the diplomat, able to resolve conflict and get information where others cannot, or the “data machine”, able to crunch through information in what appears to be the blink of an eye and finish a task quicker than anyone else, without sacrificing quality. You can be the bulldog, never letting go of an issue until you have discovered the missing piece of the puzzle, or you can be the Field Exam Jedi, calm, selfless, and willing to teach anyone anything without regard to personal time. Or you can just be you, a combination of various traits, skills, and outlooks that will lead people to specifically look at you when a project comes along.
While everyone is different, and personalities will always factor in, I always recommend that young professionals take time to learn what their particular strengths and weaknesses are, and then develop the skills and approaches necessary to not only succeed in their position, but to build the individual abilities that can make them a crucial piece of a team, a department, or an institution.
Do this and remain steadfast in your approach, and eventually your reputation will lead to opportunity. All you have to do then is seize it.