How the $1.4 trillion credit union industry benefits from servant leadership

A recurring theme in this series of interviews with bold, successful CEOs is servant leadership. Robert Greenleaf, who created the term 1970, describes the servant-leader this way:

A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid,” servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.

Dan Berger, president and CEO of the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, is a servant-leader. He doesn’t call attention to himself this way, but everything he said in the far-ranging conversation we had recently is consistent with servant leadership.

In an earlier column, “You Need To Know This About Credit Unions,” Dan talked about some of the successes that the $1.4 trillion credit union industry and the association he leads have enjoyed. We’ll now consider some of the obstacles they’re encountering and how he is tackling them.


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