Recognizing the need for well-groomed executive candidates, credit unions and leagues around the country have developed intensive leadership training programs, including some in conjunction with universities.
Two stellar examples include the Carolinas Credit Union League’s (CCUL) Leadership Development Institute (LDI), which enrolled its inaugural class in early March, and Mountain America Credit Union’s ongoing affiliation with Westminster College’s customized business leadership training program.
Presented at the University of North Carolina in partnership with the Center for Leadership Studies, the year-long LDI program features a custom curriculum delivered in quarterly, two-day workshops in Chapel Hill, N.C.
The 20 students in the first cohort, selected through an application process, also have take-home assignments that bridge the gap between sessions.
CCUL designed the program to provide current and rising credit union leaders with the critical thinking skills and leadership strategies essential to growth and success.
“This is the start of a truly beneficial leadership development experience that will strengthen the longevity and success of our member credit unions for years to come,” says CCUL President/CEO John Radebaugh. “The best way we can ensure that future is to build effective leaders today.”
As an added benefit, LDI participants have access to two one-on-one coaching sessions with one of the six program’s certified executive coaches, whose varied backgrounds include:
The coaches have access to participants’ LDI applications, DISC behavioral and emotional intelligence assessments, and a LEAD self-assessment component.
“The coaches will work with their respective students to develop business strategies and principles learned throughout the year, and apply them specifically to their working environments,” says Lauren Deangelis, CCUL vice president of professional development.
Likewise, $5.1 billion asset Mountain America Credit Union in West Jordan, Utah, has developed the 10-month “Mastering Leadership Certificate Program” with Westminster College in nearby Salt Lake City.
Participants work individually and in cross-functional teams to learn which skills and traits leadership requires. At a two-day session each month, students work on a business-related project to apply the concepts they've learned and skills they've gained.
The program opens with an overarching session in which students explore their personal leadership voice and start to design a systematic leadership plan of continuous improvement.
That lays the foundation for the remaining nine classes, which include:
The partnership with Westminster College exemplifies Mountain America CEO Sterling Nielsen’s belief in the value of first-class training, and emphasis on hiring aspiring leaders.
“Weak leaders hire people who won’t challenge them. Here, we hire people who are better than we are,” Nielsen says. “You’ll look better and develop employees to assume your position one day.”