While today’s technology leaders can adroitly deploy current and emerging technologies within their credit unions, other traits—such as passion, communication, and collaboration—are even more important to their long-term success.
According to a panel of credit union leaders at the co-located 2019 CUNA Technology Council and Operations & Member Experience Council Conferences in Chicago, a combination of technology and business acumen will take technology leaders far in their careers.
A passion to achieve and do more—someone who can advance things that add value.
Also, someone who’s personable that you can work with. As an IT leader, you don’t want to be the person who always says “no.”
Instead, help your peers to prioritize. There’s a nuance to these conversations. You don’t want to get a reputation as someone who shuts things down.
Find ways to enable the business units to achieve their individual goals and the overall credit union objectives, and make people feel safe and secure.
Talk about, “how can I bring value to your team? What do you want to achieve, and how is it related to the whole organization?”
Help people understand you’re trying to help them achieve their goals. Try to anticipate the needs of business units and understand their strategy.
Learn what is important to them and care about their objectives.
Technology leaders don’t need to be solution providers in detail—in fact, I don’t want them to be. They need to develop interpersonal communication and leadership skills.
Be more of a leader and less of a subject matter expert. You should use your analytical abilities to evaluate technology advancements against the needs of your organization and recommend a vision and path to move the credit union forward.
Also, IT leaders need to live and breathe credit unions, not just technology. The best leaders recommend strategies and tactics that speak to the specific needs and culture of their organization.
NEXT: ‘Walk in the shoes of the people you’re leading’