The Federal Credit Union March-April 2014 - (Page 12)

Succession Succession Success Success Through a Long-term Approach to Developing Leaders, Family Trust Federal Credit Union Hopes to Assure a Smooth CEO Transition By Scott Westcott T he employees at Family Trust Federal Credit Union have ample time to plan CEO Lee Gardner's retirement party - what with him giving seven years' advance notice and all. In 2009, Gardner, the longtime chief executive of the 50,000-member credit union in Rock Hill, S.C., announced to the board of directors his plan to retire in 2016. Gardner, who was 59 at the time, made the decision to initiate a long-range succession planning process to help ensure stability and continuity at the credit union, which has more than $300 million in assets and about 110 employees. "I didn't want people wasting time speculating, 'Well, how long is he going to stay?'" Gardner says. "I also wanted to go ahead and start preparing new leaders for the future. I have a good relationship 12 other opportunities; and two continue to receive one-on-one coaching and develop skills and experiences designed to prepare them for the CEO role. with the board, and they agreed it was a good idea to take this approach focused on developing internal candidates." After getting the board's buy-in, Gardner put his plan into motion. He offered an open invitation: Any senior-level vice president or higher at the organization who had an interest in potentially being considered for the CEO role could participate in a series of executive coaching and leadership development sessions. Since then, Gardner has worked with six leaders. To date, two of them have opted out of the process after concluding they were not the right fit for the role; two have left the organization for "In my view, a résumé is nothing more than a photograph that has been airbrushed," Gardner says. "This process does a very good job of sorting out people who may not be the right fit, while also identifying people who have the strengths and capabilities to lead at the CEO level. I think, ultimately, from this process the choice will emerge that makes sense to everyone in the organization, and not just me or the board of directors appointing someone." No Rush Family Trust's approach is consistent with many of the succession planning best THE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION MARCH-APRIL 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Federal Credit Union March-April 2014

Voices & Opinions
From the Chair
Inside NAFCU
Succession Success
100 Ways to Grow
Marketing Winners
Getting to Know...
Managment Insight
Compliance Central
Inside NAFCU Services
From the President's Desk

The Federal Credit Union March-April 2014