The CUInsight Experience podcast: Michael Reuter – Doing Global Good (#17)

"There’s a true opportunity to be dynamic storytellers.” - Michael Reuter

Welcome to episode 17 of The CUInsight Experience podcast. Hosted by Randy Smith, co-founder and publisher of I’m excited to announce that Michael Reuter is joining me as today’s guest! In case you aren’t already familiar with Mike, he’s the Executive Director of the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions at WOCCU. We’ll chat about everything from the importance of doing global good, the benefits of US credit unions being involved in the larger global movement, and Mike’s own path to credit unions.

Doing global good within this industry, Mike explains, is about taking the “why” of credit unions to a global level. This helps international credit union members who might think that they don’t have the ability to expand their business, grow their farm, or create a better life. Hearing Mike’s passion about this topic is a fantastic reminder of how much of a difference credit unions can make.

One of the things I deeply admire about Mike is his work and leadership style. As you’ll hear today, he views being part of a team as one of the most important aspects of being a leader. It might not surprise you to learn that he’s also acutely aware of the need to listen first while forming opinions, and that he understands the need for patience.

We’ll also dig into what role the Worldwide Foundation plays in addressing challenges resulting from climate change, business reasons for why it makes sense to get involved in the global movement, why storytelling is so important, and much more. If you’re in need of a great dose of inspiration to get you re-enthused about working in the credit union industry, don’t miss this fantastic conversation! Enjoy.

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How to find Mike:
Michael Reuter
Executive Director, Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions
Twitter | Linkedin | Instagram

Show notes from this episode:
Check out the new and improved website for the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions:
While you’re at it pop on over to WOCCU as well and see all the amazing going on in credit unions globally:
I’m a fan of this blog. A must read.  Field Notes: A blog of the Worldwide Foundation
Interested in participating on a field engagement? Find out more here.
Geez… It took us 10 minutes to mention DE. Mike and I will do better next time. But we did talk about it more later in the show. You should join the club. Find out more about CUDE here.
Mike talked about the work they are doing with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Every dollar raised in the US system is leveraged into $44 through the Worldwide Foundation. Give now
Blog post mentioned to get your feet wet with the Worldwide Foundation: Three Ways Global Good Can Grow Your Credit Union.
Shout-out to: Susan Mitchell, Crystal Long, Bill Cheney, Steve Stapp
Going to Rome or Lisbon? Walking tour I mentioned on the show: The Rogue Historians
Best album of all time: Brothers by The Black Keys
Book(s) mentioned: Start with Why by Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek, You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
Now that you’ve listened, you probably want to donate to the Worldwide Foundation. Go global good. Become a global champion. We have a link for you here.
Previous guests mentioned in the show: Doug Leighton, Jill Nowacki, Gigi Hyland, Jim Nussle
You can find all past episodes of The CUInsight Experience here.

In This Episode:
[00:03] – Welcome back to the show! Today’s guest is Michael Reuter, the Executive Director of the Worldwide Foundation at WOCCU.
[02:36] – What does doing global good mean to Michael?
[04:00] – Michael talks about how he hopes that the credit union community engages to do more global good.
[06:33] – Does Michael have a favorite story about the Worldwide Foundation doing good?
[09:50] – We hear about whether there’s a business reason (rather than just wanting to do good) that credit unions in the United States should want to be actively involved in the global movement.
[13:21] – What’s the biggest challenge that the Worldwide Foundation is currently facing?
[17:10] – Michael talks about whether the effects of climate change are something that the Worldwide Foundation addresses.
[18:22] – We learn about how credit unions and individuals can get involved with the Worldwide Foundation.
[21:12] – One of Michael’s favorite posts on the Worldwide Foundation’s blog is one of the earliest ones: Three Ways Global Good Can Grow Your Credit Union.
[22:32] – We move into the second part of the podcast, with Michael explaining what inspired him to take the gig at the Worldwide Foundation.
[25:44] – Michael explains why he went through the Credit Union Development Education (DE) Program.
[27:33] – Is there a belief currently held by credit unions that Michael thinks will significantly change in the foreseeable future?
[29:02] – We hear about how Michael would describe his leadership style.
[30:06] – Is there something that Michael’s team has heard him say so often that they could finish his sentence?
[30:49] – Michael talks about whether there’s a mistake that he made early in his career, or that he sees young leaders make.
[32:20] – Are there any failures in Michael’s career that ended up leading to a future success?
[33:29] – We learn about a piece of advice that Michael has gone back to over and over throughout his career.
[34:33] – Michael talks about the biggest point that he has brought from his experience in running museums into his work at credit unions.
[36:36] – Does Michael have any hacks to get past the times when he runs into a brick wall?
[37:45] – Michael chats about how he plans to keep his message fresh and relevant both within and outside his organization.
[39:25] – What does Michael do when he has a free day? What does work/life balance look like for him?
[40:44] – Michael starts off the rapid-fire question part of the show by talking about the first time that he got into memorable trouble.
[41:58] – Does Michael have any daily routines that he needs to do, or his day feels off?
[42:45] – What’s the best album of all time, that Michael can listen to without skipping a song?
[43:22] – Is there a book that Michael has gifted, recommended, or thinks everybody should read?
[44:17] – What has become more important to Michael as he has gotten older? What has become less important? What advice would he give his 25-year-old self?
[45:11] – When Michael hears the word “success,” who’s the first person who comes to mind?
[46:15] – Does Michael have any final asks or thoughts for listeners?
[47:34] – What’s the best way to get in touch with Michael?

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