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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Strategic Planning is the Easy Part

Working with organizations across the country, I see a familiar process when doing their strategic planning. A typical process I’ve observed is loosely following these steps: Once a year a strategic planning event is scheduled with the Board and a few key executives The event starts with a “state of the industry today” presentation, typically…

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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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Leadership Stories we Tell Ourselves and Teach Others

Often we’ve written a script in our heads that may or may not be accurate. But this script can be limiting us from attaining our full potential. In this linked post (Is Your “Story” Holding You Back? Six Ways to Rewrite It—and Supercharge Your Power by Nancy D. O’Reilly, PsyD), we discover ways our stories are limiting…

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Leading from the Back is an Art

We often see a leader as the point person, but the reality is leaders very seldom take the point, and when all goes well, maybe they shouldn’t. Leadership doesn’t take courage; it takes owning the responsibilities of their decisions but then must also inspire the courage of others to act on those decisions. Taking responsibility…

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Tough Conversations of Leadership

Leadership requires mutual trust but also the courage to talk the truth. I am surprised when I learn a “leader” is hesitant to have tough conversations about attitude or performance. It is even more shocking when I discover they keep performance files on direct reports discussed at annual or semi-annual performance reviews. Employees have expectations…

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