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Reset Yourself Like a Big Bank CEO

Sep 27, 2017

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BB&T CEO Kelly King

SMITH BRAIN TRUST — Kelly S. King works long hours with electronic currency as chairman and CEO of BB&T, one of the largest U.S. banks. So on the weekends he likes to put on old jeans and putter around his family’s North Carolina lake house. “I like to build things and plant things,” he said Sept. 26, 2017, at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. “It’s very tangible. Most of my work is very intangible.”

King, the featured guest at the Smith School’s BB&T Colloquium on Capitalism, Ethics and Leadership, said different activities work for different people. But everyone needs a way to disconnect occasionally from their busy schedules. “When I’m out at the lake house doing that, it allows me to renew myself,” he said. “You need to find something that’s unique to you that really helps you get away from the daily pressures and reset yourselves psychologically, emotionally and spiritually.”

Weekend getaways help, but King also does mini resets each morning. He wakes at 5 a.m., runs on a treadmill while catching up on cable news, and then does quiet Bible study. “It helps me refresh my spirit and my brain at the same time,” he said. “I try to leave the house ready to go.”

Smith School professor Rajshree Agarwal, director of the school’s Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets, moderated the discussion. The annual colloquium is supported by a $1.5 million gift from BB&T in 2010.

Other topics that King covered:

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business 

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty masters, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.