Culture architect Tony Moore provided a strategy for leading with a bold, mindful, and brave purpose during the general session at the African American Credit Union Coalition’s Annual Conference in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Thursday.
Moore’s blueprint includes four steps:
1. Live your values. Great leaders always bring two qualities to the table: character and competence. Moore says to think of a leader who had a profound influence on your development.
“Chances are what you remember most about them is their character,” Moore says. “Character always wins out. It is the way we impact those who are us. It is the most transformative part of what we can do as a leader.”
2. Embrace your purpose. “The world that we’ve been leading within in the past few years has caused many of us to lose sight of our true north,” Moore says.
That true north provides purpose, informs decisions and aligns work priorities, says Moore, who suggests that an effective true north should fit on a t-shirt. For credit unions in these turbulent times one bold and brave message could be “Credit Unions Unite Against Racism.”
3. Attend to your people. Most executives advance to their leadership positions based on their competence rather than their leadership skills, Moore says. They are “rewarded” with more work, and a team of people to lead.
Leaders should simply ask if they would work for themselves. “You start with your people,” Moore says. “They are the bridge between strategy and execution. You either build that bridge or tear it down every day.”
4. Deliver the goods. Teams sometimes have a disconnect between execution and delivery, according to Moore.
Leaders should always ensure that their employees always know the answers to these questions:
Moore’s grandfather served in World War II along with more than one million other young African Americans. While many were treated like second-class citizens in their own country, they served with the hope the future generations would live better lives, he says.
When they returned to serve normal lives, they embraced bold, mindful, and brave values to change the country, Moore says.
“The most beautiful thing is we get to stand on the shoulders of our predecessors and create a new baseline of equality for those who follow us,” he says. “It’s not a ceiling; it’s our responsibility ly to lift those who follow us.”