Q: What type of leadership do Credit Union’s need to remain viable in the future?

Credit Union Young Leader:
Brian Aalbers
Vice President, Brand

Credit Union:
Libro Credit Union

A: When I think about the type of leadership needed in the future, I think about one word – agility. Why? The business environments that Credit Unions operate in demand it. The rapid pace of change is straining our love affair with long term planning. How might we commit to decisions that will influence the next year? Five years? A career path? This is where agility thrives. So what makes an agile leader? Here are three traits that I have seen agile leaders demonstrate:

They embrace ambiguity
With so much information out there, the tendency to want absolute proof to inform decisions dominates. We sift for the one right answer among the wrong ones to remove ambiguity. What if we embraced ambiguity as an advantage? Rather than focusing on the right or wrong way, agile leaders ask “What if?’ They look to discover a better way and explore multiple possibilities.

They seek new experiences and insights
An opportunity that seems intimidating often signals an area of growth and possibility. Agile leaders push boundaries and embrace new perspectives. What is a different industry doing to solve a similar challenge? What are their customers experiencing? How does this compare to our Credit Union and members?

They practice creativity
People aren’t born creative; it is a skill that is developed. Once they have found an insight [see above], agile leaders practice being creative with it – and see both success and failure as learning. What idea was uncovered and how might that look? How might this solve an unmet need of our members in an attractive way? What can we learn from this?

There are many elements of leadership necessary for long term success, and I believe agility is one of them as Credit Unions continue to push forward.