Lately, I’ve found myself thinking about my mother a bit more than usual. Happens every year around this time.
It’s funny: most of the time I spent growing up, I didn’t think my mother knew anything! But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize: the woman’s a genius!
I’m sure many of you feel the same way (about your mothers, that is). And, the thing I realize more and more is that so many of the lessons I learned from my mother are directly applicable to the credit union movement; makes perfect sense since us CUSOs are like family.
Here are three biggies:
COUNT TO TEN BEFORE YOU SPEAK
As a kid, I thought I had all the answers and was always ready to give them. This little trick taught me not only to think before I speak, but that the first answer isn’t always the best one. The credit union movement is going through rapid changes in this fast-paced age, and with those changes come challenges. Though the natural inclination is to act quickly, we should be careful not to accept the first answer that comes along, but to find the one that works best for our Credit Unions and their members.
HOMEWORK COMES FIRST
Growing up, I tried pretty much anything and everything to avoid doing homework. After all, I had friends to hang out with, TV shows to watch…heck, I’d even mow the lawn if it got me out of cracking the books. But my mother wouldn’t have it. She knew that setting aside a couple of hours to make sure I absorbed what I’d learned at school that day, while preparing for the next day, made a huge difference. Boy, does that theory hold up today. Our 9-5 is filled with meetings, phonecalls, emails, and the like. Taking some time “after hours” to lock in the lessons from the day and think about how to apply them to tomorrow, is invaluable.
STAND UP STRAIGHT
I’ve always been a pretty tall guy and I hit my growth spurt before most of my friends. As such, I slouched. It wasn’t that I was ashamed of my height; I was merely self-conscious. Mom made me realize that rather than embrace this special part of me, I was actually drawing negative attention to a positive attribute. We need to stand up straight. Ours is a movement rooted in service, based on the noble ideas of giving people an opportunity to manage, save, and have a say in their money. During this time when our target market is clamoring for support, for a voice, and for opportunity, we must embrace who we are, proudly tout our values and beliefs, and welcome everyone into our fine, benevolent Credit Union way of life.
Happy Mother’s Day!