Managing vs. leading

As we near the end of this contest, I want to take a moment to a step back from both of my projects and really ponder what it means to be the Next Top Credit Union Exec. I truly think being the Next Top Credit Union Exec is knowing (and showing) the difference between managing and leading. It’s not telling people what to do, but instead working with them so they can achieve their personal and professional goals. That’s why I love the credit union model, because it’s truly about people helping people, and that’s what my two projects are designed to do!

Our next Women’s Association of Credit Union Leaders (WACUL) is taking place this month, and the topic is “Building Influence.” I’m looking forward to this discussion as I feel that “influence” is a key element to becoming a strong leader. I strive to lead with a passion and vision, which is the approach I’ve taken with both Financial MOMentum, as well as the WACUL. Every day, I have the opportunity to lead a team of more than 60 employees, to influence them positively and motivate them to achieve great things. And through my projects, I take great pleasure in leading members, fellow executives, blog followers, friends and families through fundamentals that help them achieve their financial hopes and dreams. It’s lofty, gratifying and noble!

Whether it’s helping my fellow female executives learn and grow as leaders—or sharing tips and shortcuts for moms to have healthier lives (nutritionally and financially)—this contest has taught me the importance of passion, hard work and relationships. In order for my projects to be successful, I must continue to laugh, leverage and most importantly, lead. It’s been an exciting journey so far and I’m ready to kick my projects into high-gear during the next month as this competition comes to an end. But for me, and I’m sure my fellow competitors, it’s really not an end at all, but really the beginning of another journey, one I hope you’ll share with me! 

Regional Finalist – Midwest