This blog post is part of the 2013 Next Top Credit Union Exec competition originally posted June 12, 2013.

Last week I sat in a science class with my four* soon-to-be-5th graders. There are 15 children in this summer class and the current topic of study was astronomy. Each of the 15 students did Internet research on different aspects of our planetary system and gave a three-minute presentation.

These kids were so impressive! They were engaged in listening to each other’s stories; asked relevant questions without bring prodded; and, challenged inconsistency of information presented by each other. It was apparent that the students, as a group, had effective practices of communication supported by the teacher.

A discussion on gravitational pull caught my attention. For example, a person weighing 80 pounds on earth weighs 175 pounds on Jupiter. The kids had fun imagining what it would feel and look like if they were, in a moment, double in weight. As their bodies moved around the room with the imagined increase in gravitational pull their voices were deeper, had greater reach, and their mood was compelling.

So, what is your gravitational pull? What can you do, today, to expand your capacity to be noticed in a positive way of leadership? I invite you to imagine you are on Jupiter, right now, as you read this blog, and just doubled your gravitational pull. How can you expand your leadership presence and potential?

One way is to ask others what they see in you that they appreciate and what they want to see more of. The question you ask goes something like this, “I want to develop more leadership competency and your feedback is important to me. What is something I do that works real well? What do you want to see more of from me?” Thank your conversation partner and ask two more people, sort out what you hear and take appropriate steps.

Consider these other ways to get noticed as the CUES Next Top Credit Union Executive:

  1. Assess how much of your time goes into ‘consensus building’ and ask your team if more or less time is needed, why and what needs to shift to make that happen.
  2. Assess how much time you spend in being a leader and inspiring others.
  3. Evaluate how much you speak up in meetings and presentations (like the soon to be fourth graders mentioned above).
  4. How is your ability to look for consistency in information and can you readily identify patterns?
  5. What can you shift to support your team in getting out of the comfort zone of problem solving?
  6. Evaluate your networking practices and how they add value to the credit union.
  7. Look for opportunities to authentically celebrate small successes!

Lastly, a fabulous way to get noticed is to ask someone to nominate you, or be bold in your gravitational pull and self-nominate, for the CUES Next Top Credit Union Executive competition. The act of entering the competition is a game changer and a major step up into your potential.


*I have quadruplets (that’s four babies at the same time) moving from 4th to 5th grade.

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