Does your leadership search criteria have the proper focus?

How to look for a good fit with your credit union's culture.

Sponsored by JMFA.

If you’re like many financial institutions today, maintaining quality leadership is one of the biggest challenges you’re dealing with. As more and more seasoned credit union leaders reach retirement age, I continue to be approached about my perspective on this topic. It’s no surprise that a great deal of time and effort is being spent on finding individuals with the right skills and experience to guide your organization through whatever economic or regulatory circumstances it may encounter going forward. However, I find that too often not enough attention is paid to matching potential candidates to the credit union’s culture.

In an environment based on “people helping people,” I believe that failure to find a candidate with the leadership style, workplace philosophy and team-oriented outlook that complies with the existing culture can result in much more damage to a credit union than the level of his or her financial acumen.

And while financial and/or technical expertise should be considered important qualifications for a leadership position, many of these skills can be taught, but culture cannot. In fact, I have encountered many situations where a client selected a candidate who may not have had the highest skill set but who possessed the qualities that best fit the existing culture with very successful results.

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