The Federal Credit Union May-June 2014 - (Page 44)

FROM THE PRESIDENT'S DESK Lead by Example By Dan Berger, NAFCU President and CEO A recent interview with CFPB Director Richard Cordray had a telling moment. Cordray was a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and Stewart asked about the pushback against new mortgage rules. Cordray responded, "These are sensible changes. This is really taking mortgage lending back to what community banks and credit unions have done for decades - checking out the numbers to make sure people can actually succeed in the loan, not just giving it to them and not caring if they fail." Aside from the irony of requiring credit unions to abide by rules that - by his own admission - aim to make other financial institutions more like credit unions, Cordray's remark reflects the strength of a reputation credit unions can be proud of. Credit unions are known for their business sense, responsibility and respect for their members. Their reputation is so well-established that Cordray uses their name as shorthand for excellence and efficiency. This is what it means to lead by example. Credit unions set an example in the way they stood by their members and communities, continuing to lend to small businesses and others during the financial crisis, when banks would not. Their continuing popularity across the country is due to what I call extreme member service: Credit unions don't just offer financial services to their members, they set a nationwide example of service by going above and beyond what's required. Just as the industry has set an example, individuals at credit unions can set their own example. Often it just comes down to having a positive and productive attitude - you'd be surprised at how important that is for a successful career. In a recent post for my blog on leadership, I cited a great book by Mark Murphy called Hiring for Attitude. When discussing top performers in the workplace, Murphy writes: "You'll likely find that what makes these folks so great is all about their attitude and not their skills. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that skills don't matter - they do. But I'm also saying that the biggest challenge in hiring is not determining skill but rather determining whether or not someone has the right attitude to be a good fit in your organization." Someone can learn everything possible about the ins and outs of a job, but does that make them a good co-worker? Do your co-workers enjoy working with you? Having a good attitude can make all the difference. As the massive data security breach at Target Corp. this winter proves, our industry can be full of ups and downs that we have little control over. We also learned that during the financial crisis. But the important thing is how we respond. Do we shut our doors and stop lending? Do we pull back and stop giving our members a better alternative to the big banks and ruthless payday lenders looking for a profit? We have to respond to these obstacles by leading by example. Credit unions are defined by their response to these situations, and our reputation is proof that we've stood the test. Maintaining the right attitude, using the right technology and prioritizing member service, we can meet whatever obstacles come our way. Credit unions don't just offer financial services to their members, they set a nationwide example of service by going above and beyond what's required. 44 THE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION MAY-JUNE 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Federal Credit Union May-June 2014

Voices & Opinions
Calendar of Events
From the Chair
Inside NAFCU
Business Talk
The Lending Landscape
The Social Life: A Social Media Roundtable
NAFCU's 2014 Annual Report
Getting to Know...
Management Insight
Compliance Central
Inside NAFCU Services
From the President's Desk

The Federal Credit Union May-June 2014