Cornell Day 3: The Womb of Civilization

You’re probably scratching your head trying to figure out what the title of this blog has to do with credit unions and Day 3 of the CUES CEO Institute II at Cornell.

Well, it does a lot.

Our main focus for the day was on Leading with Power and is summed up best with this quote:

Driving changes in strategy, structure, and culture will, in part, rest on your ability to build power & influence, network & ability…..

Our closing exercise called “The Kidney Case” allowed us to spend a lot of time practicing the area of influence and power. As part of our pre-reading, we were provided with 9 candidates who were vying for a kidney transplant and it was our challenge to rank them in order from 1 to 9 on who would get the kidney. After much discussion in areas of building influence, perception, mindset, body language, and power posing throughout the day, we were split into teams and assigned 1 of the 9 candidates. In 30 minutes, we were to develop a presentation to convince our fellow classmates (acting as the Transplant Review Board) to select our candidate as the recipient of the available kidney.

The candidate that I selected to receive the transplant was a 15 year old straight A student who was a volunteer tutor for learning-disabled children. She was the daughter of a visiting ambassador. This fact did not matter in my consideration as all children’s lives are precious, regardless of what country you call home. I initially had her as my number 2 prior to the presentation, however, when the words “The Womb of Civilization” were spoken by my fellow classmate (and acting doctor of the girl) I was sold.

As for me, well, I was selected as our presenter based on my experience in presenting, mainly from winning the Next Top Credit Union executive title. Only problem……I need to get American. With a picture of the American flag and bald eagle proudly watching over me, I did the best to represent our 34 year old war veteran who had risked his life for his country. Unfortunately during the presentation I said he needed a new liver, not a new kidney. OOPS! Either way, loads of fun today for everyone.

I would like to leave you with my AHA moment for the day. It was this:

Higher Status & Power → More Autonomy/Control → Less Stress

Don’t believe me…check out this article with analytic evidence: It’s Good to Be the Top Banana.

At first I was quite shocked by this report, however, once I started thinking about my career over the years, and where I am at today, I fully support this claim. Quite frankly, I feel more stressed in my current position as compared to when I was senior relationship manager team lead in business banking with five direct reports and managing a loan portfolio of over $100,000,000. 

What are your thoughts? Would love to hear from you!

And remember….

God Bless America!