Q: What leadership coaching resources or programs are available in the credit union system?

HR Expert:
Corvyn Neufeld
VP, Human Resources

Credit Union:
Cornerstone Credit Union

A: There are a number of resources available to individuals wishing to develop their leadership skills. I’d like to specifically mention two that I think are special leadership development resources.

Mentorship Programs – one of the best ways I can think of to develop your leadership skills is to work with a mentor. Mentors are someone with more experience than you and someone who you trust and respect. Mentors leverage their experience to act as a sounding board and to provide advice. Sometimes they challenge you to think differently or even call you out on something you might need to do differently. Mentors enable you to benefit from their experience. CUSource facilitates the National Mentorship Program which is an excellent program that I have been involved with; it pairs mentees with mentors from across the country. Some credit unions have their own internal mentorship programs. Mentorships do not have to be formal though. Many of us have had informal relationships with key individuals over our careers who served as mentors. It may be a boss, friend, co-worker, teacher, etc. Formal or informal – establishing a mentoring relationship with someone you trust and respect is one of the best ways I can think of to develop your leadership skills.

Young Leaders groups – credit unions across the country have come to recognize the importance of supporting the growth and development of our young leaders – for the long term benefit of our credit union system. Many credit unions have their own Young Leaders groups (our credit union does) and most provinces have a provincial young leaders group. There are also national and international young leader groups. Get involved. It’s a great way to expand your networks, to step outside your comfort zone and to learn what it takes to be a leader. Young leader groups also give you an opportunity you may not otherwise have had to work with and get to know other young leaders, like yourself, as well as established credit union leaders (who may become mentors!).

There are many other resources available to you such as professional coaches, on-line resources like Harvard Manage Mentor, post-secondary programs, books, etc. Find the ones that work best for you and be accountable to yourself to use those resources to learn and grow.