This blog post is part of the Next Top Credit Union Executive competition originally posted June 1, 2012.

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Photo by Andre Nantel

Recognizing talent in credit unions is an easy thing to do. The CUES Next Top Credit Union Executive competition is a chance for every nominee, and their credit union, to be a winner. As a nominator, you have a valuable opportunity to make a difference in developing talent. Over the years, I have collected and formed ideas on how to spot good talent and want to share some with you. I hope these tidbits are helpful.

  • Energy and confidence are so important; energy shows up in how a person walks, how they pace through projects and conversations, and how they stay connected in a conversation or meeting, especially a long one. For example, does your potential nominees ebb and flow in energy, or  are they modulated and produce an assessment of continuity and consistency?
  • Confidence and self-efficacy are key attributes to learning. As a nominator, what is your assessment about the talent’s ability to perceive and respond to situations and execute as the role or initiative requires?  A person who constantly second guesses will make more mistakes and their second-guess energy may stifle others on the team.
  • Viewing challenging problems as learning opportunities contribute to ongoing leadership growth. How does your talent perceive tough problems, obstacles, and resistance? Talent who can get out of the box and expand their peripheral vision to seek or create innovation solutions are worthy of attention.
  • Individuals who ask for guidance from mentors and request support in learning opportunities have strong self-efficacy. Look for someone who asks for more assignments, even if the task or initiative is outside their immediate area of responsibility.
  • Another important attribute for next best talent is they ask clarifying questions rather than jumping feet first without looking. And, they complete initiatives and projects on time and within expectations.  Look for repetitive and consistent completion as a standard, rather than the exception.
  • Inclusivity of others in learning and exploring opportunities is a leadership move. Does your potential nominee easily offer support, provide opportunities to others for learning, and speak praises and virtues of peers in public?  Inclusion is indicative of a worldview that it takes a team to win, not an individual.
  • The leadership attribute that makes a major difference is MOOD. It is a true skill of self-management and leadership when a person has a practice to minimize stress and elevate mood in times of difficulty or facing difficult tasks.

This is an exciting and valuable opportunity. Be open in conversation with your nominee, listen to what they want in their leadership development and use these tidbits as a guide in your conversation.

Do you have someone who comes to mind? Someone you feel could be the CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec? Why not take the time and nominate them right now?

Deedee