Thoughts from a CUES Next Top CU Exec Runner Up

Today has been one of those rare days I have learned to appreciate – no scheduled events and no need to be anywhere from sunup to sundown. After a busy and fantastic week working with the Sask Young Leaders Committee to deliver a highly successful “Your Future is in Your Hands” Conference, I was reminded even more of the value of some down time to recharge. Q slept in until 10:00 AM and so did I. I spent a good portion of the morning and early afternoon lounging in my Comfy Chair, enjoyed a couple cups of coffee, and chatted with Q about 6 year old stuff. A few hours of reflection and perfection!

I got to thinking about my past few months; specifically my experience with the CUES Next Top CU Exec Competition. Since returning from Florida I have had a lot of people asking me the same question – Did You Win? Short answer: Nope – Ashley Kohlrus earned the title of 2012 NTCUE Winner. The general reaction from most is to console me on my loss; which I find kind of funny since I don’t feel like I lost anything! I am genuinely happy with the way I represented myself, Conexus and our team. I thought I would share with you a couple of things I feel I won through competing in the NTCUE Competition.

Share the Conexus Wealth Story

The NTCUE was a fantastic opportunity to share what we are building for our members in Wealth at Conexus. In true Conexus form, the Wealth Team cares deeply about the success of our CU, our members and ultimately themselves. I am excited I was able to share our story of Why Wealth Matters, where we are today with Wealth, and how we are continuing to build the offer to help our members and our CU thrive.

Personal Growth

It was unnerving for me to face the public blog posts, videos and ultimately present in Florida. The final presentation was to an audience of about 200-250 CU Execs and Board Members, along with a camera live streaming to the internet (yikes!). I was reminded that through preparation and practice I can defeat my fears and deliver. In order to grow you often need to step out of your comfort zone. The NTCUE Experience is a great way to Rise to the Challenge, Share and Grow!

Expand my Network

I feel that having a great network of people to collaborate with, seek feedback from, and share ideas with is important for success and growth. From the beginning, my network expanded to the applicants and the top 15 and we interacted via social media. In Florida, I met great people including the Top 5 Contestants, the Currency Marketing Crew, members of the CUES Team, and other CU Leaders. These relationships have already paid dividends to me in sharing similar challenges and solutions, as well as some collaboration in the works on ways some ideas about a few things to spread knowledge and ideas in the CU System. NTCUE is a great way to build your network.

Felt the Support of Many People

Of huge value to me during the NTCUE Competition was the amazing support I received from so many places. The notes of encouragement, the discussions with and advice from my network, and the feeling that I was not alone in this journey were invaluable. For me, the NTCUE was truly a humbling experience from start to end.  Thank-you to everyone who took the time to help and support me in this journey.

The NTCUE Builds People, and to me the win was truly in the journey. NTCUE will come around next year….it is my hope that either you have an idea or project you are involved in that you would like to submit, or you recognize someone else by submitting a nomination.  I know I will be watching for a nomination to submit!