“Leadership is about inviting people on a mission to do something extraordinary together.”
That was the overriding message delivered by filmmaker and America’s Credit Union Conference keynote speaker Brett Culp Sunday, an address packed with advice for credit union professionals on how to maximize the impact of their work.
Above all, however, Culp touts the value of leadership, and how anyone can be a leader in their daily lives.
“It is first an invitation,” Culp says of leadership. “It is creating a space that you invite people into to do something good in their own lives and in the world.”
Culp also spoke about those moments when work becomes arduous, when challenges arise that make it harder to stay on course and continue on.
Drawing on a moment he experienced while filming the story of a 13-year-old girl who swam across Lake Ontario for charity, Culp says it’s important to “hold tightly to your anchor; to get up every morning and know why we’re doing this—why does this matter, why are we making a difference in the world—and hold tightly to it.”
But making a difference in the world can’t be done alone, Culp says. And to win over consumers and to reach people, he’s learned it’s essential to “keep your heart open.”
“It’s hard to keep your heart open,” Culp says. “Life’s hard. Life’s tough. You’ve got team members that are driving you crazy. You’ve got members that are driving you crazy. But to do something extraordinary you’ve got to have the ability to stay open.
“When you can make people feel—with an open heart—your emotions,” he adds, “they open up to that and they connect with your emotions. What’s the power of that?”