BY SCOTT MCCLYMONDS
Continuing the leadership systems focus he began last month, “Credit Union BUSINESS’s” CEO expert completes the series of forces that guide your credit union to growth and success. In this issue, he concentrates on well-rounded leadership, leadership development and leveraging low operating expenses to your CU’s innovation and investment advantage.
The last few months we have been focused on leadership systems used by high-performing credit union CEOs. You can’t really feel or touch leadership systems, but everyone in your credit union knows whether or not they exist. They’re what make your credit union either thrive or languish in mediocrity. John Maxwell says that “everything rises and falls on leadership,” and the best leaders have great leadership systems.
Specifically, last month our attention was on a system called “The Six Guiding Forces of Credit Union Growth and Success.” We explored the first three, which are Strategic Alignment, Velocity and Communication. This month we’ll dissect Guiding Forces 4–6, which are Selecting Well-Rounded Leaders, Leadership Development and Using Low Operating Expenses to Fuel Innovation and Investment.
Guiding Force 4: Choosing Well-Rounded Leaders Builds the Present and the Future
A few weeks ago, I spoke with a community bank CEO whose organization has grown from nothing to over $1 billion in assets in 18 years. When I asked him to name his greatest lessons along that journey, without hesitation he identified learning to choose the right people as his most important lesson.
Similarly, great credit union CEOs very quickly mention the critical nature of surrounding themselves with the right people. They then discuss the filters they use to select leaders. Some key filters include people skills, conceptual thinking and functional expertise.
Regarding people skills, CEOs look for people who are both team players and drivers. Those two capabilities don’t always go hand in hand. Often when we hear the term “drivers,” we might think of people who are talented, pushy, aggressive and perhaps just a little obnoxious and individualistic. However, these ideas are more stereotypical than fact-based.