news.cuna.org/articles/117095-learning-locally
Learning locally
Fourteen credit union professionals graduated from the most recent session of LSCU’s Coaching College program.

Learning locally

LSCU offers regional coaching college to develop future leaders.

February 11, 2020

Everyone wants to take advantage of training opportunities to advance in their careers.

But day-long travel, expenses for travel and hotels, and a lack people resources at the credit union are often roadblocks.

“Staff are looking for ways to provide career path opportunities and growth opportunities within the organizations they work for,” says Patrick La Pine, CEO of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU).

To make training more accessible, LSCU created the Coaching College to develop new leaders and build relationships among participants—all close to home.

The league offers the program regionally by partnering with a credit union chapter that is willing to host the training and provide meals once per quarter for a day-long session.

“That was one of the big selling points,” La Pine says. “This was going to be local. The people in your class are people from credit unions around you. Hopefully you’re building relationships in a peer group with people within your chapter who you can call on in the future and stay in contact with.”

During the first two years, LSCU offered the Coaching College at credit unions in Mobile and Birmingham, Ala. It plans to hold classes in Birmingham, Orlando, and Atlanta in 2020, La Pine says.

Jamie Payton

‘Sitting in a room full of peers sharing issues and success stories is a very rewarding experience.’

Jamie Payton

Participants in the program learn how to manage staff, have critical conversations, address performance issues, and improve time management. However, La Pine says the most beneficial aspect is the time built into the curriculum for role-playing scenarios and opportunities for students to network with peers about business and leadership challenges.

“Sitting in a room full of peers sharing issues and success stories is a very rewarding experience, regardless of how long you have been in management,” says Jamie Payton, president/CEO of $140 million asset Heritage South Credit Union in Sylacauga, Ala. “Having a network you can turn to for support or just to ask a quick question is very valuable.”

An average of 15 people attend the Coaching College each year, and La Pine says they come from a variety of roles including branch managers, middle management, assistant branch managers, C-suite leaders, and others with leadership potential.

Payton has worked in the credit union industry for 30 years and has been in her leadership role at Heritage South since 2016.

She attended the Coaching College to continue to grow as a leader and learn skills she can use to develop her staff.

“It’s important to know the best approach for each employee and for each manager to understand how they operate,” Payton says. “If we can work together to enhance our strengths and assist each other with our weaknesses, it builds a better team with a diverse set of skills.”