High-functioning credit unions

High-functioning credit unions and the team time trial are not usually discussed in the same conversation. However, the team time trial provides an apt example of a high-functioning group particularly with regard to leadership.

The team time trial requires cyclists to ride single file within inches of each other often at speeds up to 35-40 mph and sometimes along winding roads. To put it simply, each member of the team must perform to finish the race, let alone win. If one person does not hold pace or swerves off course, the consequences can be detrimental to the entire team.”

To be successful at such an endeavor requires leadership. The coach first must build the right team. Any cyclist could go out and ride in a team time trial but not every cyclist is the right fit for the team time trial. Some may not be able to hold the pace while others are not comfortable riding so close. Second, the coach clearly defines the team’s success measures. Each member of the team knows their role and understands that success is defined by the team’s results, not the individual’s. Lastly, the coach is habitual about holding themselves, the team and the individual team members accountable. Every member of the team must perform. If one person does not perform, the rest of the team has to pick up the slack but, as a result, cannot maintain the same level of performance.

While credit unions are not trying to win a race, they do want to be quantitatively and qualitatively successful. As such, leaders of high-functioning credit unions follow the same approach. They have the right people on the team, they define success measures and they hold everyone, including themselves, accountable.

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