Strategic Planning – Is there a right way?

Strategic planning isn’t: A box to check on your NCUA examination. A one or two-day brainstorming event To plan incremental growth without changing anything Done during budgeting time. Strategic planning should be started in Q1 or Q2 so that when the organization gets to budgeting time, the strategic objectives have been established, and the resource,…

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Air Travel, Leading and Stress: What do these have in common?

Stress is part of our lives. Outside forces can cause us stress, and we can also bring on stress for others and ourselves. Air travel is a source of stress; that makes it a good metaphor for stress management behaviors. Many people find air travel very stressful. The stress surrounding air travel is not unlike…

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So You Want to Be a Leader; a 3 Step Primer

So, let’s define leadership. Leadership IS NOT about title, rank, direct reports, or hierarchal power. Leadership IS about creating change. A person that is not creating change is maybe a satisfactory task and people manager but not a leader. Being a leader requires the individual to have the courage to take risks, use her/his voice…

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Three Things Every Leader Must Know

Leadership is not for sissies. Leadership is not about you. Leadership has a price. Let’s diagnose each of these requirements. Leadership is not for sissies – To be an authentic leader takes courage. This courage is realized in many ways. Sometimes it is the courage to do what you don’t want to do, to do…

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Five Strategic Questions for the Board and Senior Management

It’s a strange time for credit unions. Credit unions face unprecedented pressures from regulators and examiners and capital pressures for net interest margins and fee income. Often they don’t benefit from “economies of scale” or the resources, people, and capital, to invest in the infrastructure demands of vendor due diligence, regulatory compliance, or technology demands…

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Moving From Incremental to Transformational Growth

Too often, I see organizations that keep getting in their way. They celebrate mediocre performance, average results, and incremental growth. Occasionally I find an organization that is satisfied in just cruising slowly into obsolescence, unwilling to admit what is happening to the company. Today’s competitive, fast-paced business climate does not tolerate mediocracy for long. Companies…

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Pay for Performance and Reputation Risk

An increasing trend in the financial services sector is “pay for performance.” This practice shows up in several formats: Commission – rep is paid a percentage of balances acquired Incentive – rep is paid per closed referral Bonus – rep is paid based on goal performance over a set period (per month, quarter, bi-annually, annually)…

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Leadership: Don’t leave it to Amateurs

If you were to describe your leadership style, what would you say? If you were to define the leadership style of your credit union, what adjectives would you use? Like it or not, we all have a leadership style, and if your credit union has not defined their preferred leadership style, you have many varieties,…

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The Basics of a Successful Career

We enter the business world with the expectation that we are starting up a trajectory that will always climb to the next promotion, a continual progression of responsibility and authority. This belief is a myth. Rarely is a career path a constant climb up the ladder? A career path is a “hero’s journey,” one beset…

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