What is holding your credit union back from growth?

FEAR! Wait, I know if you’ve read my articles before, you’re likely thinking, “NOT AGAIN!” Stick with me. I want to take a deeper dive into this thing called “fear” and provide some resources that can help you or your team get unstuck and push past the fear.

First, fear in the credit union leadership office or boardroom doesn’t usually look like fear. It usually comes in the form of a new, uncomfortable idea. In a recent credit union strategic planning session with Riverfront Federal Credit Union, CEO Tim McLeod shared how many peers will ask about some of the innovative strategies and technologies his credit union has adopted over the last year, then is met with comments like, “We could never do that,” or “That is too expensive!” Hold your horses!

Those comments are made with zero perspective on what it took to bring that new strategy to life or how much that new technology cost. Their limited mindset instantly goes to “new technology = too expensive.” It’s not just Riverfront getting met with these comments. Time and time again, I’ll see our best practice credit union clients who see long-term success prodded by peers about what they are doing, and then met with comments like, “I don’t know how NCUA is letting you get away with that,” or “Gosh, that’s too expensive.” Those comments are nothing but fear, and fear is a lack of perspective. How the team at Riverfront and many of our other best practice credit union marketing clients gain perspective is by removing fear and making good decisions.

Let’s put it this way: Most things we fear are rooted in similar ignorance (or nicely put, lack of data or perspective). If you don’t know what a tornado is or what’s behind an earthquake, it may well seem like the wrath of an angry or vengeful god. But, if you step back and learn about atmospheric pressure or tectonic plates, it’s not quite as scary. You have facts and understand what the true nature of these events. Of course, it can still hurt you, but you’ll be both better prepared and less likely to take it personally.


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