A mentality of abundance

Football Hall of Famer, Steve Young, is most known for his 13 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. He now runs a private equity firm and travels the nation as a motivational speaker and corporate spokesperson. Speaking to a group of 15,000 at the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, Steve shared an invaluable lesson about having a mentality of abundance.

Young spent his college days at BYU where he was recruited as a promising quarterback only to find himself sitting the bench as the 8th string option. He wanted to quit football but when he called home to his father, he was told, “If you quit, you won’t have a home to come to”. However, with hard work and a little patience, he went on to have a record-setting senior year and was named First Team All-American.

Upon arriving at the 49ers in 1987, Young was expecting to take the starting quarterback role from the legendary, but aging, Joe Montana. Much to his surprise, Joe was in fantastic shape and wasn’t showing signs of slowing down. Steve found himself in a competitive situation that he described as ‘toxic’. During his playing time, Young felt his mistakes were placed under a microscope. He recalls going to the grocery store and overhearing others talking about him saying, “He’s good, but he’s not Joe”. Steve was once again in a dark place where he felt like quitting.

During this difficult time in his career, he flew home to visit his family with the intention of rediscovering his roots. Young first met with his brother, who at the time was in med school along with supporting a wife and three children.  His brother had no sympathy for Young’s woes in the NFL ($$$). He then spoke with his parents who responded with an encouraging “hang in there”. Meeting with his family didn’t seem to help Steve with how he’d been feeling

On his flight back to San Francisco, he sat next to non-other than Stephen R. Covey, author of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. Covey recognized Young and struck up a conversation. He listened to Young’s entire story about playing under the great Joe Montana and how he didn’t measure up to the fan’s lofty expectations. Empathizing with Young, Covey said, “Wow, what you are going through sounds difficult, so difficult that it might be more than any one man can bear”. Nodding his head, Young exclaimed, “Yeah! Finally someone who understands me”.

Covey then asked about Young’s environment. “What is the 49ers’ front office like?”, “Tell me about your coach, Bill Walsh”. Young responded with extremely positive comments about the 49ers’ management and coach. “And Steve, isn’t it true that Joe Montana is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and if you needed to go to someone with an immense amount of experience to ask for mentorship, wouldn’t he be a good resource?” Young, reluctantly nodding, found himself on the precipice of a paradigm shift.

All of his time spent on the 49ers up to this point, Young had felt a toxic tension between himself and Montana. After Young’s eye-opening conversation with Covey, he started to see the world with a mentality of abundance. Just because Joe was succeeding, it didn’t mean that he had to fail. Steve began to feed off of Joe’s success and became that annoying 3-year old that won’t stop asking questions. He learned everything he could from Montana during his last years. Young went on to be the MVP of Super Bowl XXIX and retired with the highest passer rating among NFL quarterbacks at the time.

Credit unions are the brainchild of abundant thinking. People helping people, collaboration, the credit union difference, shared branching, the list goes on. While this speaks for the credit union industry and its mission, does your credit union practice a mentality of abundance internally? Is there toxic tension between staff members of varying rank or authority?

Beyond internal dynamics, there could possibly be toxic tension in vendor relationships. Is your technology partner reluctant to collaborate? Do you find your credit union running into a lot of red tape? Do you often hear, “Sorry, our system doesn’t do that and we aren’t looking to add that feature”?

Whether it’s internal staff or vendor relationships, look for people who have a mentality of abundance. Look for teammates that see their success as your success and vice versa. If you work under a great CEO, learn all you can. Find out what makes them tick and what attributes to their success. You might inherit their job someday. If you are looking for new technology, seek out those who prioritize their client’s growth and profitability. Consider their willingness to adapt to your needs and ask credit unions using their technology what they have done to ensure their success.

A win/lose mentality doesn’t lead to greatness and toxic tension breads bitter relationships. Don’t guard your skills and knowledge as proprietary information. View your coworkers as resources to learn, grow and become better. Employ abundant thinking, it’s the credit union way.  

Hayden Monson

Hayden Monson

Hayden Monson is the Technical Marketing Manager for FLEX. Hayden has been with FLEX since 2013 and has worked in various customer service and marketing roles over that time. As ... Web: https://flexcutech.com Details