Leadership Skills to Ensure Effectiveness and Relevancy

diverse group of business people sitting against a wall with the word Leadership
Theresa Witham Photo
VP/Publications & Publisher

2 minutes

Credit unions ranked these 11 practices as the most needed by industry leaders over the next three to five years.

In the fall of 2021, CUES worked with TalentTelligent, a research-based talent management tool provider, to conduct research to determine the most critical credit union leader behaviors needed to drive effectiveness and relevancy for the industry in the next three to five years. Respondents to the survey included credit unions across asset sizes and geography and individuals from staff level all the way up the board across CU functions.

This survey was designed to paint a broad brush across the industry to elevate the mission-critical roles and practices needed by our leaders to ensure effectiveness and relevancy over the near term (three to five years). As the industry and your organization continue to shift, new and different success profiles will be needed to ensure the behaviors you need from your leaders match the outcomes you aim to accomplish.

The most important practices identified by the respondents are as follows, rank-ordered based on aggregate average:

  1. Vision and strategy formation
  2. Leading change and transitions
  3. Critical thinking
  4. Growth mindset
  5. Motivating and influencing
  6. Leveraging innovation
  7. Developing others
  8. Problem analysis
  9. Engagement management
  10. Resilience and resourcefulness
  11. Managing teams

The credit union industry operates in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment with competitors, new and old. The employee landscape has been forever altered by the pandemic. It is vitally important that your talent strategies move the next level to ensure effectiveness and relevancy over the next three to five years. What your leaders need today versus what they will need in the future will inevitably shift. 

When reviewing these findings, a good exercise might be to answer the following questions for your organization:

  • What behaviors do you need your top talent to exhibit to drive results, to attract others to join and to ensure the retention of the right leaders?
  • When building bench strength, what is the profile that you would hold as the “gold standard” for who is up next?
  • If you desire to develop future leaders, towards what aim should you focus their development?
  • If staff is to engage in self-directed learning, what guardrails and focus should you provide to ensure a win-win for the individual and the organization?
  • While it is straightforward for our industry to identify key talent challenges, what behaviors do our leaders need to make tangible progress against those challenges?

Strong leaders that are behaviorally aligned to execute your culture and vision are a must-have. Strong managers that allow for bench strength to be in place, who produce results and are behaviorally aligned are a must-have. Strong individual contributors who get things done and are behaviorally aligned are a must-have.

Theresa Witham is VP/publications and publisher at CUES.

Create Powerful Leaders at Your CU

In 2021, CUES and partner TalentTelligent set out to explore what credit unions saw as the top traits needed to drive effectiveness and relevancy in the next 3-5 years. Discover their findings now with our whitepaper, Credit Union Leader Development 2022!
Download the report
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