March Madness…credit union style.

Ahhhh…the month of March. Brackets, RPI, team picks, tournament games…glory. The month of March is equally exciting for credit unions as we finish up the first quarter, take a look at our progress toward goals, and make adjustments where needed in order to continue the momentum and forward progress. When you think about it that way, we aren’t much different than those 64 teams in the Big Dance.

Think about your credit union as a team on the journey to the Final Four. The difference between the teams that are successful in the tournament and ones whose journeys end short can be summarized by these qualities:

Successful teams work toward a common goal. Every team wants to win, but successful teams have a vision for where they want to go and they work every game to get better for the next one as they get closer to their vision.

Successful teams aren’t about individual stats. I’m a Kentucky fan and can honestly say that the teams of prior years have sometimes been about the individuals on the team looking good for NBA scouts and less about a team mentality, but this year’s unstoppable team is unselfish with passing and scoring and defense and everything in between. This team is truly special because they play as a team unit.

Successful teams diversify talent. Their starting five has five different talents – typically one good defender, one good long-range shooter, one fast player, one great rebounder, and one great inside player who makes key inside shots in the paint. for example, great defensive players don’t typically score a lot of points, so having five teammates with these exact same talents prevents the team from excelling in all the areas it needs to in order to win.

Successful teams celebrate wins. If you don’t celebrate wins along the journey, including individual successes, it is easy to get bogged down by and focus on all of the things that could have gone better. This kills momentum and causes apathy. Successful teams know how and when to stand in the moment and celebrate a job well done.

They make adjustments regularly. The journey to the final four is a “play every game like it’s your last” experience, often pairing them against a team they’ve never played. The game starts and you begin to get a sense of the other team’s game plan and how they are trying to shut yours down. The coach doesn’t wait until halftime to tell them what they need to do better. He or she is going to call time out and make adjustments whenever a change needs to be made to the game plan in order to make the team as successful as possible.

Successful teams play with confidence. Even though the opposing team may be taller and faster, it is vital to focus on YOUR team’s strengths and YOUR team’s game plan. If you have a team full of talented people and a solid plan for the game, confidence will help you win it.

They are passionate about what they do. Successful teams are passionate about competing and playing the game they absolutely love. Practice is hard, it is a grueling schedule, and often means sacrifice, but getting to play basketball is what truly inspires them to continue to get better and strive for glory.

Successful teams have a strong leader. Even a team of incredibly talented players needs a strong leader to support and encourage everyone, to keep them focused on the shared goal, and challenge them to improve.

Your credit union is on the journey. Is your team ready for the big game?

(Go Cats!)

Amanda Thomas

Amanda Thomas

Amanda is founder and president of TwoScore, a firm that channels her passion for the credit union mission and people to help credit unions under $100 million in assets reach ... Web: Details