As the CEO of a small credit union, it’s easy—and often essential—to get caught up in the day-to-day operations, says Sandi Carangi, CEO of $75 million asset Mercer County Community Federal Credit Union in Hermitage, Pa., and a member of the CUNA CEO Council Executive Committee.
“It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it takes up a lot of time,” she says, which makes it hard to carve out time for strategic planning and other high-level initiatives.
“Stepping away and being able to do some of the strategic initiatives that you have for your institution,” Carangi says, “is one of the biggest challenges for CEOs at small credit unions. Time management is such a huge part of every day because you get pulled in all different directions. A lot of time is spent putting out fires.”
One way she tackles this problem is by setting aside time specifically for high-level issues. Another is by delegating.
“You have to get very good at delegating and saying, ‘Okay, I’m going to put you in charge of this,’ ” Carangi says. “I say that all the time to employees. It’s a good thing because it helps us all feel responsible for the direction the credit union is going.”