Four Lessons Learned From the CU Leadership Convention

This past week I had the pleasure of speaking at the CU Leadership Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.  This was the first year I have attended this conference, and it was previously called the CU Directors conference. Now that the organizers have opened the conference up to credit union management teams, the conference attendees have grown and the topics discussed have expanded greatly. Here are the top four things I took away from the 2018 CU Leadership Convention.

Cal Ripken is a great opener! 

Cal Ripken kicked off the conference and in his keynote, he shared terrific stories, wisdom, and thoughts about how he set a major baseball record for most number of games played.  I followed Cal in the second speaking slot, and Cal made my life easier by exciting the credit union attendees. My favorite story Cal shared involved how he managed through spring training and avoided getting hurt.  Over Cal’s career, he had nine coaches. So, when spring training started, Cal would proactively propose a training schedule that worked best for him and would take the workload off his Manager. The result was two-fold. There was a happy Manager with a decreased workload and a happy player who avoided early season fatigue and injury. This is a lesson that all of us should remember and put into practice. We should think about how to make our bosses lives easier by proactively proposing solutions to problems and managing ourselves.

Digital Engagement is Happening

When I am preparing my presentation for a conference I am speaking at, I look for examples of credit unions doing innovative things in the area of digital engagement and digital marketing. I am excited to say that this task gets easier and easier with each speech! Credit unions are following the DREAM methodology from Credit Union 2.0 (Differentiate – Recreate & Reinforce – Educate & Excite – Automate – Motivate) and quickly improving their social media presence, websites, video utilization, and connecting the dots between data and the member experience. This is exactly where we should be heading as an industry.

Use Humor and Empathy – They Go Together

Matt Kazam from They Laugh you Win, gave a great presentation on how to use humor throughout our day to day corporate lives. His methodology for joke writing, fusing audiences, and connecting person to person, provided a great framework that we can use in multiple areas of our lives. We can implement his method for better connecting with our boards, giving speeches, or just use it to have a little more fun at home.

Joe Mirachi, CEO of Launch FCU, and Deedee Myers, CEO, DDJ Myers, Ltd. know their Board Stuff!

I think a lot of us really struggle on how to help our boards be more strategic and less tactical. One small example of this is using an associate board member structure to develop a recruitment pipeline that allows for finding younger and more diverse professionals to help you take your credit union to the next level.

Overall, whether you are a board member or a credit union executive, the CU Leadership Convention is a great conference to attend. You are sure to pick up new ideas, network, and jump-start your credit union strategic plans!

credit union leadership convention

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