The 3 Components Critical to the Credit Union Movement

Are you an employee serving one of the 100 million members that belong to a credit union? Are you motivated, ready to speak up and have an open mind to learn? If so, this blog is clearly for you!

Inspirational Leadership, Advocacy and Mentorship are three components that are needed to make sure our credit union movement stays alive and well.

The project I am working on is trying to incorporate all three in my everyday life while combining it with our strategic plan at United FCU to see what type of traction can really be gained! Am I excited about this? Heck yes I am!

Okay take a pause because we are about to dive into inspirational leadership. Ready?

How often do you go to work looking for someone to tell you what to do? If you are somewhat seasoned, you are probably good at your job and ‘just go with the flow’. Day in and day out becomes a routine and you get comfortable. 

Wouldn’t it be better if you had a routine but were challenged every so often? You are great at something and why not have that task delegated to you? I know you are starting to get inspired to ask for a new task just by thinking about it!

Here at United FCU, we all have our roles and we do them very well. My goal for inspirational leadership is to allow each team member to work on stretched goals causing them to come out of their comfort zone. Why you ask? Well, if we always stay in the same routine, we never grow.

By breaking out of comfort zones, I have seen tellers rise quickly through the ranks and become assistant managers, members service advisors become managers and other employees go on to something they have never worked on before. They are inspired and become ready to grow.

Speak up and Advocate!

How many of you just read the example above and actually said, “Hey I’ve done that?” That is great! Why don’t you tell more people in the credit union how it happened to you? How excited were you when it did happen? Share that enthusiasm!

This is advocacy at its purest.  Sharing a story to explain why something is so great.

Take this into the credit union movement mindset. How many stories can you share about going above and beyond for a member? I bet you just smiled and thought… tons!

On a daily basis, I tell the story of the credit union to politicians, chamber members and potential business and consumer members.  We are a cooperative that focuses on people helping people. 

I’ve seen people’s eyes open wider while telling the story. Their comments range from, “You did that” to “Can you do something like that for me?” Again we are people helping people to make a bright future.

Mentorship – we all need it!

Growing up in the financial service industry was exciting for me. I was the top cross-seller in the company and thought I had everything going for me. One day, my regional manager pulled me aside and said, “Noel, you are great at sales, service and even show leadership skills but I have one request; if you are looking to move up, always dress two steps ahead.”  I was so impressed that someone took time to coach me.

Needless to say, he changed my life. Mentoring is the key to the future. You can have an impact on someone’s life just by coaching them on your experiences. 

The Young Professionals of the Cornerstone Credit Union League is a perfect example of mentorship. As an Advisor to this group, I have the opportunity to mentor others like I was mentored by my regional manager.  We held a conference recently from August 7-8 in Fort Worth called Get Stuff Done (GSD).

Inspirational Leadership, Advocacy and Mentorship

What has it done for United FCU and me so far?

  • One of the top 12 Best Places to Work in Arkansas in 2014 – Arkansas Business
  • Partner in Education Award 2014 – Fort Smith Schools
  • United Way Partner of the Year 2014 – United Way of Fort Smith
  • Crash the GAC Arkansas Representative  2014 -
  • YP Advisor 2014-2015 -Cornerstone Credit Union League
  • Innovation and Collaboration Committee 201-2015 – CCUL
  • CUNA Community Credit Union and Growth Conference Panel Member 2014
  • Boss of the Year 2014 – Fort Smith Jaycees

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Noel Sanger