Summary of Non-Negotiable

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7 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

6 Style


A special financial institution serves 23 Texas Panhandle communities: the Happy State Bank. The bank operates according to a distinctive code of conduct, written in the form of 20 standards, or “non-negotiable” principles that all employees must honor. Organizational accountability expert Sam Silverstein describes the bank’s culture. He explains how its non-negotiable standards give it an ideal framework for success and why your employees may need non-negotiable principles as well to attain a high level of accountability. This bank is an unusual organization, and its CEO is an unforgettable personality. Unhappily, Silverstein proves a repetitive storyteller who oddly trademarks common phrases, such as “The Power of Accountability.” Even so, getAbstract recommends his inside look at Happy State Bank to those seeking to live responsible lives and to hold themselves and their companies fully accountable.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What makes Happy State Bank unique,
  • What constitutes a non-negotiable standard,
  • How Happy State Bank defines its non-negotiables and
  • How to establish your non-negotiables.

About the Author

National Speakers Association past president Sam Silverstein is founder and CEO of Sam Silverstein Inc., an organizational accountability think tank.



One Banker’s Unique Perspective
J. Pat Hickman is chairman and CEO of Happy State Bank and Trust Company, headquartered in the Texas Panhandle town of Happy, “The Town Without a Frown.” Hickman is an unforgettable character: a big, handsome man in cowboy boots who fills up a room.

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