What counts in leadership

When I think about what counts in leadership, I often reflect on the early years of my career when I worked at Procter & Gamble. When P&G has a product in a particular category—say, laundry detergent—it’s not interested in being fourth place. It wants to be the market leader.

And it succeeds. In 2014, P&G sold more than $1.1 billion worth of its market-leader product Tide, more than twice the sales volume of the No. 2 product, according to figures from statista.com.

Why do P&G and its products do so well?

I think it’s because the company has developed a culture of having leadership at all levels. Developing the leadership of staff members throughout the organization, including at the top, fuels performance of both people and sales.

To infuse leadership across the organization, P&G evaluates every employee on “what counts” in leadership (among other factors). Specifically, P&G asks managers to evaluate whether a particular employee:

  • recognizes opportunities;
  • forms a vision of what can be achieved, then challenges himself or herself and others to get the desired result;
  • champions ideas and people to get breakthrough results; and
  • uses a variety of resources effectively.

This culture of leadership at all levels helps P&G grow mature businesses, launch new products, command globally recognized brands and manage a world class supply chain.

How does all this apply to credit unions?

Credit unions also benefit from developing leaders at all levels—including on the board—who identify opportunities, form vision, and challenge themselves and others to get the desired results. CUs can teach tellers, back-office staffers, executives in the C-suite and directors how to champion ideas and get amazing results. They can encourage them to improve processes and projects by using both resources on hand and creative new ones they come up with.

There will be lots of practical applications of these ideas in every credit union shop. As an example, CUs will need leaders at every level to be able to offer a consistent omnichannel financial services delivery experience to members. Leadership on the part of your chief technology officer as well as your member service representatives will be equally important to a successful member experience.

What are you doing to support having leaders at every level? What counts in your shop when it comes to evaluating employees on their leadership? How will you support your staff’s emerging leadership skills with mentoring, training and top-tier education?

John Pembroke

John Pembroke

As president/CEO of CUES, John Pembroke came full circle in his career. His first exposure to business was a high school internship working in his father’s church credit ... Web: www.cues.org Details