What some see as a weakness can actually be a strength.
Finding ways to compensate or overcome challenges and obstacles can make a person or organization stronger and more effective because you’re forced to take an innovative approach to a problem, says Malcolm Gladwell, author of five New York Times bestsellers including “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.”
“We learn more from difficult situations than from easy situations,” says Gladwell, who will address CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) Tuesday, March 12. “When we’re in a situation where we’re at a disadvantage, where we have some impediment to success, two things can happen: We fail, or are defeated by it, or in the act of overcoming that impediment, we become stronger.”
As small, community-based financial institutions, credit unions may have to work harder or be more innovative to succeed. Gladwell urges GAC attendees to remember that when visiting with legislators during their Hike the Hill visits.
“Make it plain what you are not,” he says.
Accentuate what makes you different, and make it clear that your appeals are specific to who you are and how you serve the community, Gladwell continues.
Those community-specific stories of how you’re serving members and the struggles you face due to overreaching regulations will resonate with legislators, he says.
“They hear all day long from large, powerful, vested interests,” Gladwell says. “They might be ready for an appeal that is about one of the specific cities in their jurisdiction or a specific group of people within that community.”