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The 6 a.m. CFO: How Community National Bank and Trust of Texas’ Steven Nutt Starts His Day

Nutt shares his lifelong love of baseball, learning to lead, and how he likes to do things "with purpose."
The 6 a.m. CFO:  How Community National Bank and Trust of Texas’ Steven Nutt Starts His Day

Welcome to The 6 a.m. CFO, where finance chiefs share how they jump-start their days and engage with the tasks in front of them.

Today, Community National Bank and Trust of Texas CFO Steven S. Nutt shares his lifelong fandom of baseball, his methods for passing his financial literacy to the next generation, and how he likes to do things “with purpose.” 

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Community National Bank and Trust of Texas

  • The Corsicana, Texas-based company provides community financial services and partners with local small businesses and organizations.

  • Founded: 1964

  • Size: 185 employees across 13 branch locations

  • Growth: Avg. 10yr. growth rate is 20%

Morning Routine

Weekday wake-up time: I wake up at 6:45 a.m. I like to spend 15 or so minutes reading the Bible and praying.

Coffee, tea, or other morning beverage choice: Everyone who knows me knows the answer is Diet Coke. It’s the morning, noon, and night beverage of choice for me — I drink way too much Diet Coke.

I am a native Atlantan, so it has to be Diet Coke!

Workday start time: 8 a.m.

How I usually spend the first hour of my day: I spend the first part reviewing my dashboard, then checking my email and spending time reviewing the daily newsletters I subscribe to from The Wall Street Journal for current news.

I also review Economic Update from FHN, which gives me a good, concise view of key economic indexes and news.

Then I start with any email that needs an action or response.

Time I send out my first email: Typically, around 9 a.m.

Best advice for writing an effective email:

  1. Keep it professional.
  2. Keep it concise. If it’s too long you risk a misunderstanding or it not being read.
  3. Embed charts instead of attaching files. I try to make it as easy as possible for the receiver to get the important information.

First dashboard I review: First, I review the balance sheet to assess the changes and see our cash position. I look for any big swings in loans or deposits to further research who it is and the story around it.

Then, I review the income statement and any changes there to find explanations for any unanticipated revenue and expense account fluctuations.

How I structure my morning meetings: Typically, I try not to schedule meetings before 10 a.m., but I am a believer in having an agenda and sticking to it.

Mid-morning snack of choice: Peanut butter crackers. 

Leadership and Inspiration

Favorite quote or mantra: A personal one that I have adopted is, “On Purpose, With Purpose!”

To me, “On Purpose” is something I learned playing sports. Everything you do should have a purpose. It speaks to being intentional — a reminder to be intentional in all areas of my life.

The “With Purpose” speaks to the purpose I have as follower of Christ, which is to honor God in all things.

Favorite leadership lesson:  I like to read a lot of leadership books, and one of my favorites is “Lead…for God’s Sake” by Todd Gongwer.

This book is a story of a basketball coach who struggles until he answers his own question of “why,” which involves leading with a heart of purpose and passion. In a lot of ways, it is the basis for the mantra I mentioned above.

And this also carries over to one of my favorite books, Simon Sinek’s “Leaders Eat Last,” which speaks to servant leadership and caring for those you are leading first and foremost. Then the results will take care of themselves.

Something important to know about me that you wouldn’t know from my business bio: I am passionate about baseball. I still play in two 45+ leagues and even go to Florida in November for a week-long 50+ world series tournament with a team from New York.

We’re going to need some proof. Any photos?

The team picture here is from last month. My 50+ team won the MSBL Fall Classic in West Palm Beach Florida.

50+ Fall Classic Champs .jpg

This picture below is from the North Texas Amateur Baseball League 45+ All Star Game this past summer. 

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What was the last job you did at your company that fell outside your traditional scope of work? I spent half a day recently at a high school in our community speaking to juniors and seniors on financial literacy and banking.

Can you share one way in which you have learned to manage work-induced stress?  There are a couple of things that help me. I typically go to the gym or the park right after work. I put my earbuds in and listen to my favorite music — currently Maverick City Music and Brandon Lake — and ride an exercise bike or lift weights.

I also believe the Bible and prayer time in the morning help to reduce stress and get the morning off on the right foot as well.

Favorite number: My Favorite number is 21. Mainly because it was my high school baseball uniform number — and one of my favorite players, Roger Clemens, wore it.

I also heard the number 21 has a meaning of strength and courage attached to it as well.

Most noteworthy items in my workspace: Of course, pictures of my family are most noteworthy.

Additionally, I have a framed copy of the Atlanta Journal from the day after the Atlanta Braves won the world series in 2021 — a gift from my mom who had it framed and gave it to me for my office.

Did I mention I am a huge baseball fan, and an Atlanta Braves fan more specifically!?

Where were you and what were you doing when the Braves won the World Series?

For the Braves’ 2021 World Series clinching game, I was home in Texas with my wife Suzanne watching on TV, but listing to the Atlanta Braves Broadcast team, especially Ben Ingram, on the final call while texting with a few of high school buddies that watch as much Braves baseball as I do. As soon as it was over, I called my son at college and shared the excitement with him, and also was texting with my mom in Georgia.

And then I went online to order my Atlanta Braves World Champs T-shirt — It was a 26 year wait from the 1995 World Series Championship! 

Do you have a pet sitting in your office right now: No, I am not a pet person. It makes me a minority in my family, as they are mostly all dog lovers.

Favorite app on my phone that is not related to business: I would say the MLB.com app would be my favorite. It comes in handy and allows a Georgia-transplant in Texas to watch or listen to all the Atlanta Braves games. I can also keep up with all the stats and standings, which is a favorite hobby of mine since I was a kid collecting baseball cards.

When do you take time for learning/reading: As often as possible. I like to take Fridays to spend learning things to help me grow in my job.

On a more personal level, I try to spend time each evening reading — usually a leadership or growth-type book, or a biography of someone from whom I want to learn more of their story.