The CUInsight Experience podcast: Jim Nussle – Full circle (#100)

“Start with the end in mind.” - Jim Nussle

Thank you for tuning in to episode 100 of The CUInsight Experience podcast with your host, Randy Smith, co-founder of This episode is brought to you by Trellance – transforming data into actionable insight for credit unions from coast to coast.

My guest on this 100th episode was also my guest on the very first episode of The CUInsight Experience Podcast, Jim Nussle, the President, and CEO of CUNA. I was looking forward to this conversation with Jim. We intentionally kept it broad in scope when talking about credit unions and focused on the future, what credit unions are doing well, where there is room for improvement, and what challenges we face over the next few years.

Jim discusses what he sees on a national level in credit unions over the course of the pandemic and how he has grown as a leader during this time. He applauds the credit union movement for being “Financial First Responders” and consistently providing great service to members and support for each other. Jim also talks about what he believes credit unions need to change in order to enhance relevance in the future; leaning into what we do best.  A year from now, Jim will be most proud of how the movement navigates and effectively responds to the redefinition of community.

Listen as Jim shares what inspired him to take the job as President & CEO of CUNA and how the inspiration has transformed over the years. “Listen, learn, help and lead,” is a phrase Jim’s team has heard him say often and he believes he’s always had the ability to make hard decisions, but he learns more every day. He talks about his prompt ability to pivot, like many leaders, and how that comes with being able to gather your team and adjust accordingly so that no one is left behind. Jim says that spending time with his family, his dog and playing guitar are some things that have kept him sane during the pandemic.

As usual, we wrap up this 100th episode with rapid-fire questions and learn that Jim was involved in everything in high school and wanted to be a lawyer and a public servant when he grew up; both of which he has accomplished. Jim says that his dad is the picture of success, and spending time with his parents during this time has become one of his greatest pleasures.

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Books mentioned on The CUInsight Experience podcast: Book List 

How to find Jim:
Jim Nussle, The President and CEO of CUNA
Twitter | LinkedIn 

Show notes from this episode:
A big shout-out to our friends at Trellance, an amazing sponsor of The CUInsight Experience podcast. Thank you!
Check out all the outstanding work that Jim and his team at CUNA are doing here.
Shout out: Jim Nussle
Shout out: Chuck Fagan
Shout out: Jim’s Parents
Playlist mentioned: The Listening Room Cafe, Nashville, TN.
Book mentioned: The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of Just a Nation by Brenda Wineapple
Book mentioned: The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, Updated and Expanded by Michael Watkins
Books mentioned: Any Presidential Biography
Previous guests mentioned in this episode: Jim Nussle, Chuck Fagan, Jill Nowacki (episodes 4, 18, 37, 64 & 82

In This Episode:
[02:14] – Welcome back to the show, Jim!
[02:51] – Jim shares what he is most excited about on a national level, he has seen in credit unions over the last ten months.
[04:55] – How have you grown as a leader over the last year?
[06:51] – Jim discusses his biggest concerns for the credit union movement overall.
[09:36] – Jim says that if you want to get along with your family, don’t talk politics at the table during the holidays.
[10:54] – Jim shares what he believes credit unions need to change to become relevant during the social and economic unrest.
[13:31] – Listen, as Jim says, what he will be most proud of his team has accomplished a year from now.
[16:05] – What inspired you to take the job as President and CEO of CUNA?
[17:30] – Jim shares how the inspiration has changed over the years on the job.
[19:54] – Jim gives some hacks for anyone who wants to be a CEO or is a new CEO.
[21:33] – Listen and start with the end in mind are some things Jim’s team has heard him say over and over.
[24:23] – Jim believes he has always been able to make hard decisions, but it’s something he is always striving to learn more about.
[25:18] – Is there a common myth about leaders you want to debunk?
[27:19] – Jim shares some mistakes he sees young leaders make often.
[28:23] – Stop and smell the roses is a piece of advice he has carried with him over his career.
[29:54] – Jim shares spending time with family, his dog, and playing guitar and how he has stayed sane during the pandemic.
[31:26] – Jim speaks about being involved in everything while he was in high school.
[32:22] – Jim wanted to be a lawyer and a public servant when he grew up.
[33:42] – Playing guitar and playing with his dog are routines he does every day.
[34:23] – What have you been listening to in the past year?
[36:28] – Any new books you are reading over the last year?
[37:52] – Jim shares what has become more important over the last year and became less important.
[39:33] – Jim speaks about what he misses with the lack of travel during the pandemic.
[40:48] – Jim’s dad is the first person who comes to mind when he hears the word success.
[41:54] – Jim asks Randy what he has learned over the last 99 episodes.
[44:53] – Thank you so much for being on the show again!

Randall Smith

Randall Smith

Randall Smith is the co-founder of, the host of The CUInsight Experience podcast, and a bit of a wanderlust. As one of the co-founders of CUInsight he looks ... Web: Details