"Culture is something that grows in a milk carton after it is in the sink for three days" some bank CEOs say.

Betsy Cohen, CEO and chairman of Jefferson Bank, a $700 million super community bank in Philadelphia, has a different definition: "Our corporate culture values individualism, but requires a sense of common purpose." She says Jefferson Bank operates like a family, in which there is a certain amount of rivalry and competitiveness among family members, but also a sense of common bonds. Individualism is valued, but a commonality of task and direction is required.

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