Conduct a Leadership Analysis

June 1, 2010

Coming through the recession, every organization should ask, “What’s our leadership strategy?” writes William Pasmore, senior vice president for organizational leadership at the Center for Creative Leadership.

Many executives, however, aren’t good at leading change. It’s because they don’t understand the importance of changing how their companies are led, not just in how they operate, says Pasmore in

A leadership strategy makes explicit the number of leaders you need and where, and the skills and behaviors necessary to achieve total success.
Getting your leadership strategy right begins with your business strategy. It involves asking these four questions:

  1. What are the drivers of our business? These make your business strategy unique. How can your credit union take advantage of its marketplace strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats?
  2. What kind of leadership do we need? If as a CEO or senior executive, you don’t think about the characteristics of your leaders and how you want them to lead, you might not like what you get.
  3. How am I leading? Setting or changing a leadership strategy begins with you. Don’t think you can ask others to change in ways you aren’t willing to. Top executives must believe—and show—they can learn and lead in new ways.
  4. Who are our leaders? Assess the leaders you have against your strategy.

Organizational change requires culture change. Having a pool of managers with a track record of good performance isn’t enough, Pasmore says. Simply filling all the leadership positions on the organizational chart won’t produce the leadership you need to implement strategies, adapt to change, or support innovation. It’s not having the right number of bodies, but it’s what those bodies do and how they relate to one another.

Cheney Named New CUNA President/CEO

William “Bill” Cheney will succeed Dan Mica as president/CEO of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

Cheney, 49, currently serves as president/CEO of the California/Nevada Credit Union Leagues. He will begin his duties at CUNA next month.

“Bill’s long service to credit unions, as both a financial institution executive and association leader, ensures our association will not miss a beat in advocating for credit unions,” says Kris Mecham, CUNA Board chairman.

“I’m honored the CUNA Board has the confidence in me as their selection for this position, given the very extensive search that was conducted by the committee,” Cheney says. “I’m ready for the challenge and excited about the opportunity. Dan Mica has built a great team, and I look forward to leading it in continued pursuit of critical credit union goals.”

Factors in Cheney’s selection include his strong relationships with current and past members of Congress and state lawmakers; broad experience in the credit union movement as an association executive and former president of Xerox Federal Credit Union (now Xceed Financial Credit Union), El Segundo, Calif., which grew from $350 million in assets to more than $800 million in assets during his tenure; extensive business training; and commitment to community service.

Mica says the transition is already underway, and he’ll be working with Cheney until his official start date of July 5. Mica also adds he’ll remain available to Cheney for counsel through the remainder of the year.

Look for an interview with Cheney in an upcoming issue of Credit Union Magazine.