The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 32

MANAGEMENT INSIGHT

Lessons From a First-Year CEO
By Kristin Shultz

L

ast year, I became the president and CEO of NRL Federal
Credit Union (NRLFCU), a $475
million credit union established
for employees of the Naval Research
Laboratory. As a career credit union
professional, I was ecstatic to take on the
challenge to lead an organization in a
positive way. I have learned many lessons
during the past 12 months. Here are my
top management takeaways after my first
year of being the CEO.

Transition Slowly

Allow everyone time to transition. Let
the team learn your style and begin
to build trust. Take the time to listen,
and then make thoughtful, deliberate
changes that will help move the credit
union forward in a positive direction.
Involve everyone throughout the process.

Concentrate on Culture

Work to build a positive culture. If
employees are treated well, they will
treat your members well. Concentrate on
making small cultural changes that will
have big rewards for your teams. Maybe
employees want a casual dress code.
Maybe they need more team-building
events. Perhaps employee benefits and
compensation need to be enhanced.
Focus on your organization's top needs,
and make some quick adjustments.

Be Available

I have been consistently surprised by the
appreciation I receive for being available
to employees, members and volunteers.
Answer the phone, answer your email,
walk around the organization, and talk
with everyone. Listen, and be willing to
make changes based on their feedback.
32

Show Vulnerability

Show your emotions and your humanity. Everyone experiences difficulties,
and everyone makes mistakes - we all
have problems. Share your story, and
be empathetic to others. The ability to
be vulnerable will create an openness
throughout your organization that will
positively enhance the organization's culture and create a sense of loyalty. Praise
the work of others constantly; there can
never be too much recognition for a job
well done.

Remove the Status Quo

Review all processes, procedures,
employees and functions to see
whether they make sense, what needs
to change, and in what order to change
them. One of the phrases we have all
heard throughout our careers is, "We
have always done it that way." Have
your teams strike that phrase from
their vocabulary and replace it with
one word: "Why?" If you ask why, your
organization will constantly be growing, learning and improving. Make the
change process fun, rewarding employees for suggestions and including them
in implementations.

Let Go of Operations

Surround yourself with smart people,
and trust them to perform the operational tasks for the credit union. Use
the collective wisdom of the group to
navigate through difficult scenarios, and
the outcome will undoubtedly be better
than one created by an individual. Allow
yourself some free time every day to read
and reflect.

Practice Attitude Skills

Show a positive attitude the moment
you enter the door of your credit union,
because everyone is watching. The
attitude you bring every day to the credit
union matters and has a greater impact
than you might imagine.
It has been a whirlwind first year, and I
am so proud to be the CEO of NRL Federal Credit Union. I learn something new
every single day and cannot wait to get
to work each day for our members and
employees. With the help of my team, I
believe the best is yet to come for my
credit union.
Kristin Shultz is president and CEO of NRL
Federal Credit Union in Alexandria, Va.

THE NAFCU JOURNAL  SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019



The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019

The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019
Contents
Conferences
From the Chair
Washington and Industry Briefs
The Bottom Line
Access to Money
The Best Indirect Growth Strategy
Big Moments, Bigger Wallet Share
Executive Spotlight
Management Insight
Compliance Central
Inside NAFCU Services
Industry Perspectives
From the President’s Desk
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - Cover2
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - Contents
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 2
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - Conferences
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - From the Chair
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 5
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - Washington and Industry Briefs
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 7
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - The Bottom Line
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 9
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - Access to Money
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 11
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 12
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 13
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 14
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 15
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - The Best Indirect Growth Strategy
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 17
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 18
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 19
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 20
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 21
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 22
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 23
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - Big Moments, Bigger Wallet Share
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 25
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 26
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 27
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 28
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 29
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - Executive Spotlight
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 31
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - Management Insight
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 33
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - Compliance Central
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 35
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - Inside NAFCU Services
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 37
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 38
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 39
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - Industry Perspectives
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 41
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 42
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - 43
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - From the President’s Desk
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - Cover3
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2019 - Cover4
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