Empowering Managers Through Leadership Development

Dream Big

Imagine a credit union where all managers have the same level of leadership training. A credit union where managers know what is expected of leaders in their organization and where they are able to lead high performing and engaged teams. A credit union where managers know the company is investing in their professional development and empowering them to be successful leaders of the organization. Let me share how Central Minnesota Credit Union (CMCU) has brought this dream to life and how you can make this vision a reality for your credit union.

CMCU has already implemented multiple Leadership and Financial Leadership Courses (see below), all customized to the needs of our credit union. As you can imagine, we have seen great success over the past several years since offering these courses, including an increase in internal promotions into leadership positions, increased manager retention, and an improvement in employee engagement scores. With low unemployment rates and baby boomers retiring, doesn’t it make sense to keep current staff and develop them into even higher performing leaders? It’s a win-win for employees, the credit union, and ultimately our members and communities! 


Make it a Strategic Priority

Having an entire suite of courses was once a dream for CMCU, until the initiative became a strategic priority. After partnering with the executive team to incorporate the Leadership and Financial Leadership Courses into the Workforce Planning strategic initiative, it quickly gained traction. In 2013, the first CMCU-built “Aspiring Management” course was introduced. Since then, we have been creating courses based on current needs. Recently, it has been determined that we need to fill a gapbetween the “Intro to Management” and the “Navigating Management” course. 

Create your Game Plan

The Management curriculum is focused on utilizing the managers’ existing knowledge and experience as the foundation, while learning new skills to keep up with evolving management roles and responsibilities. This course will help managers gain insight on their own development opportunities to keep them growing as leaders. Participants will explore management concepts and implement new strategies to develop high performing and engaged teams. Participants will learn the organization best practices for communicating change and remaining abreast of industry trends. While the curriculum is still in the development phase, here is a snapshot of the outline: 

  • Complete a 360 review to receive feedback on management skills. This will be used as pre-work for needs identification and post-work for evaluation. 
  • Read Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Bradberry and Greaves and take the “Emotional Intelligence Appraisal” to identify strategies for increasing emotional intelligence. 
  • Review ideas for communicating, engaging, and developing their teams by exploring generational differences, utilizing the DiSC Management modules, and reviewing employee engagement survey results. 
  • Practice effective presentation skills by preparing and leading a presentation on manager skills such as time management, delegation, and conflict management. 
  • Review the CMCU ownership and data governance models and discuss the manager’s role in change and project management. Introduce the CMCU strategic planning process. 
  • Finance III presented by leaders in Accounting/Finance. Topics include: Asset liability management, budgeting, and understanding how leaders impact our key financial ratios. 
  • The course will wrap up with a case study project to assist in the application of the skills learned; participants will present their recommendations to senior management. 

Building a leadership development program was once just a dream for CMCU, however we are now making it a reality, one course at a time. You can make this dream a reality at your credit union too. Just imagine a future where all managers have the same level of leadership training and they are empowered to be successful leaders of your credit union! 

So how can you get started? 

  1. Dream Big
  2. Make it a Strategic Priority
  3. Create your Game Plan

Jodi Maus