To all my fellow NTCUE finalists,

Recently, I attended what Libro (my Credit Union) calls “Prosperity Day”… this is a day the entire CU comes together and has a day of learning, sharing and growing. Some themes of our day were focus,agility, empowerment, failure, lessons learned and asking for help(among many others). This spoke close to my heart as I had arrived back from Nashville the prior week after competing in the CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec competition. 

I was unsuccessful in winning this title in Nashville—and though I will admit that my initial reaction was failure after hearing someone else’s name called onto stage—what came next was a wave of gratitude.

Gratitude for: 

  • Having opportunities like this in our Credit Union sector for young professionals

  • Meeting the amazing people I met in Nashville 

  • Being able to push myself outside of my comfort zone and get on stage to present in front of almost 200 people (mostly CEOs of Credit Unions)

  • Most importantly all of the love and support I received from my family, friends and my work family.

  • I reflected not on why I lost, but what I learned from the experience.

  • The growth you receive by pushing yourself to do something you’re not comfortable with

  • How to write blogs, video scripts, and presentations

  • How to record videos and edit them

  • Presentation skills 

  • Networking skills

  • And so much more! 

I asked for help (something many of us don’t like to do)—not only for votes (and thank you so much to all those who voted), but also with editing my blog posts, filming and editing my videos, writing/editing my speech in the finals, creating my slides, having people listen to me practice my speech… I wasn’t up on the stage alone, so many of you stood with me.

Am I disappointed I didn’t win? Sure I am. However, I continue to remind myself how lucky I was to make it to top 5, to work for a company like Libro Credit Union and have such amazing support.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

I hope that my story of ‘failure’ or I would rather say opportunitywill inspire all of you to:

  • Push yourself outside of your comfort zone, 

  • Ask for help, 

  • And above all else, when things don’t go the way you wanted, look for the lessons learned and remember to be grateful.

I encourage future young leaders to participate in this amazing opportunity, it is not just about winning, it is about growing personally and professionally and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.

Emily Strybosch