Credit union leaders need to stop making excuses, “put on their big boy pants,” and embrace innovation, Gary Vaynerchuk told THINK 16 attendees Tuesday.
That was just some of the tough love the best-selling author and serial entrepreneur dispensed during an entertaining “fireside chat” during CO-OP Financial Services’ annual conference.
Vaynerchuk fielded a wide variety of questions from the audience and conference co-hosts Sara Critchfield, founding editorial director of Upworthy, and digital strategist Scott Bales.
Some of Vaynerchuk’s insights:
On ideas: They’re worthless unless you execute them. “So you can tell me about your purpose, but it’s worthless unless you act on it.”
On getting buy-in for your ideas: “The top thing you can do is to communicate, whether it’s with your boss or your spouse. Communicating in a respectful manner is the game. Being politically correct is not the answer.”
On awareness of credit unions: “People don’t know what credit unions are. You have an awareness issue as an industry.”
On innovation: “I try to replicate the behavior that would put me out of business.
“Too many people use compliance as an excuse for not doing what they should be doing. At the end of the day, you need to put on your big boy pants and try to make it happen.”
On being a CEO: “It’s lonely. Hard. Being an entrepreneur, if I stink we go out of business. I say that everything that is wrong with my company is my fault because I empower it. I love the action—it’s my oxygen. It’s in my DNA but it’s not easy.”
On empathy: “It’s the greatest trait I have. It makes me a great salesperson. At my company, people get rewarded for emotional intelligence; how they play with others. The nicest people get promotions and raises, where the top performer who’s a [jerk] doesn’t. Whatever I do, I try to use empathy.”
On advertising: “It’s crazy to make commercials in 2016. I can sell you stuff on Facebook. The second something [on TV] goes to commercials, you grab your phone. Attention is all that matters. Before you tell me how great you are, you need to have my attention.
“This is an old crowd, and none of you are consuming commercials. No one is going home and looking through their direct mail. I don’t understand how you can act one way at home, but when you go to work you have different strategies.”
On technology: “Technology is not a sector; it’s all-encompassing. It will eat up everything. It got to bookstores early, then hotels and taxis. It’s going to get to everything.
“I'm not a technologist. I’m obsessed with the cost of [getting people’s] attention. We’re tripling down on using technology as a gateway drug to human interaction.”
On keeping up with change: “I’m sorry the world is moving fast. Tough luck. Innovation doesn’t care about you and me.”