Greatness not Just Goodness Needed in New Age Leaders

by John A. Vardallas CAE, CUDE

With all the recent events unfolding in the American business and political sector, perhaps the most concerning isn’t so much the competency of leadership, but rather its ethics. The economic inequality in America is being blamed by the greed of corporate leadership!

What makes leadership has always sparked interesting discussion. Are leaders born with innate qualities or can effective leadership be taught and learned? This is a very important business issue since recent American employee surveys indicate that half of workers are unhappy because of “not being valued” due to weak organizational leadership.

Are you as good a leader as you think you are? If so, how would your people rate you on some of the following traits or characteristics of effective CEOs. Are you perceived as great or just good?

  • A powerful business and people acumen.
  • An embracing of diversity.
  • The ability to inspire (not motivate) people to achieve.
  • A clear vision of seeing the possibilities and the preferred future for their organization.
  • The ability to build partnerships and alliances.
  • Being servant leaders to their customers/members.
  • A curiosity about the world and a facilitator of change.
  • Leading more by actions than words.
  • The ability to utilize technology to achieve business results.
  • A risk taker who doesn’t fear innovation or failure.
  • The ability to convert the learning of ideas into practice.
  • The willingness to hire to your weakness.
  • The ability to develop goals and execute plans.
  • And a developer of people– A “Human Horticulturalist”.

I offer the following action steps to inspire you to strive for greatness not just goodness in your Leadership Practices for your credit union:

  1. Have a Passion for your business philosophy in what you do for your organization staff, board, members, vendors and the community.
  2. Get the Right Folks in the Right Seats on your Credit Union Organization Bus and give them a license to pursue their passion in serving members.
  3. Greatness knows that Embracing Innovation is not an option and great leaders know that if you are not changing you are dying.

Great, not just good effective leadership will be one of the key factors of how the success of credit unions will be measured in the future. And how current leaders set a standard to follow and having the will to follow it may be their most important legacy.

I hope your leadership practices are anchored and reflect the core values of your credit union that will guide your business conduct and inspire greatness in you and your people during this uncertain and challenging economic time in America. Onward and Upward!


John A. Vardallas is a professional speaker/consultant to the Credit Union System and Founder/CEO of the Madison Wisconsin based The American BoomeR Consulting Group. He can be reached at (608)577-8707/

John Vardalas

John Vardalas

John A. Vardalas CAE, CUDE is Founder/CEO of The AmericanBoomeR Group, a Madison, Wisconsin based speaking/consulting firm. He is also a frequent speaker and facilitator of strategic planning ... Web: Details