This last week I was lucky enough to be a co-facilitator of the National Credit Union Foundation’s CU Development Education “Best Class Ever”.
I admit, I was nervous.
I have been a mentor before, but this was my first time up at the front of the room.
As I flew to Madison, I had a million “What if” scenarios race through my mind.
What if I had nothing of value to bring to the topics?
What if I said something incredibly dumb?
What if I had toilet paper on my shoe and my zipper was down and nobody said anything.
In all honesty, that internal struggle ceased to exist the moment that Tobi Weingart pulled up to pick me up from the airport.
I saw her wave and was all of the sudden excited beyond belief.
Let’s do this!
The first day excitement of CUDE is real my friends.
The music is thumping from inside the DE room and you can hear the nervous chatter of the participants waiting to enter.
Little do they know that we are just as anxious.
A few million high-fives later, the September 2023 class had begun.
I can’t describe the magic of that first day.
It’s almost sacred.
You know, like the middle piece of a cake type of sacred.
You can tell most of the folks are nervous in those first moments and by the end of the day you can start to see bonds forming.
Yes, it happens that quickly.
By day two, they are all in with their teams, team names, and soaking in all of the information.
Day 3, you begin to hear comments about how they have felt they have known each other forever.
Day 4, they are chatting so much that it is hard to gain attention from the room.
Day 5, there are always happy tears, friendships securely formed, business cards exchanged, side conversations of appreciation and love.
Have I mentioned that the CUDE program is magic?
Well, it is.
I want to tell you all about the private conversations that I had on the side that changed my life the very moment that I had them.
I want to tell you how some of those faces became the faces of people that I will never forget.
I want to tell you about the laughter, the authentic connections, the highs and the lows of the week.
I want to tell you how I had a tear roll down my cheek as I once again said goodbye to another set of graduates.
I want to tell you all of that and more, but the truth is that you need to experience it for yourself.
“Oh, I have been in the movement for years!”
Go to CUDE.
“Oh, I just started at the CU!”
You should just go.
“Oh, I am an old board member, what value would I even get?”
More than you can imagine.
CUDE from the NCUF isn’t for one area of the credit union.
It is for ALL areas and ALL employees in ALL years of their career.
To the new class of DE’s –
Thank you for touching my life in ways that you will never truly know.
Thank you for the conversations, the hugs, the smiles, the heart signs as I shared my story.
Thank you for being present.
For trusting the process.
For showing up.
Thank you for allowing me to learn from you, hear from you, get to know you, and to walk away from this week with over 50 new friends.
You ARE the CU movement.