Get big things done even when it seems impossible

Get big things done even when it seems impossible

Risk more, fail faster, says Diana Dykstra.

June 18, 2018

Diana Dykstra hates things that don’t work as well as they could. And she’s made a career out of making them work better in credit unions.

“When I run into stupid stuff, I just have to fix it,” Dykstra told the How to Conference by CU Water Cooler in Madison, Wis.

Focus on what it takes to innovate and accomplish big things, says Dykstra, the CEO of the California & Nevada Credit Union Leagues.

She shared lessons from her 30-year credit union career, including:

• Risk more, fail faster. “That is the rule I live by,” Dykstra says.

• Fear is OK. Complacency will kill you and leave you behind, she says.

• Failure is an opportunity to learn. Own it when you fail. Have the good judgement to fail fast and acknowledge the things you learned through the process, Dykstra says.

• Have curiosity. Ask “why,” she says. Imagination is the most powerful tool that we all possess. Use it, she says.

• Challenge everything, but do it in a nice way. Furthermore, challenge your own assumptions, too, Dykstra says.

• Focus. Avoid shiny distractions, she says. If you don’t pay attention, you will never get done what you need to get done.

• Find smart, wacky people. “Wacky people are open to doing things different,” Dykstra says.