Build confidence to make change

Credit unions can be a ‘fulcrum for positive change,’ says H.R. McMaster.

March 2, 2021

With strong leadership and connections to the community, credit unions can be a “fulcrum for positive change” in their communities.

“Credit unions are such a great place to bring our communities together and to have the kind of respectful, meaningful, and civil discussions we need to have to strengthen our identity and who we are as a people and also to determine how we can build a better future for generations to come,” says H.R. McMaster, former U.S. national security advisor and a retired lieutenant general for the U.S. Army. “This is a group that can make a difference.”

To make that difference, start by ensuring your team has the confidence needed to succeed.

“In combat, it’s particularly important because confidence serves as a bulwark against fear,” he says. “The worst thing that can happen to a unit in battle is fear because it leads to hesitation, and hesitation leads to opportunities for the enemy.”

McMaster delivered Tuesday’s opening keynote address at the 2021 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference.

McMaster says teams build confidence by following three steps, whether they’re on the battlefield or in the boardroom:

  1. Understand the mission. Everyone in the organization must have a common understanding of what it is and how to accomplish it.
  2. Prepare for challenges. Establish training and education opportunities that will allow the organization to deal with worst-case scenarios. Put the organization through a challenging training environment—such as a tabletop exercise—that will provide opportunities to see how the team operates together.
  3. Encourage leaders to take the initiative.  Leaders can command respect from others when they display confidence and treat others with respect.

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