NAFCU Journal January February 2022

43 THE NAFCU JOURNAL January–February 2022 Index toAdvertisers AI Oasis Website: 7 AWS Email: 4 Franklin Madison Website: C3 Money Concepts Website: Origence Website: C4 Q2 Website: TruStage Website: C2 Upstart Website: Financials The belief among the CEOs was that if you take excellent care of the first three elements, the financials will take care of themselves. Again, it’s depressing how many organizations do these things in the reverse order. Everything is driven by the numbers, systems and processes are set up to maximize profits, customers are seen strictly as a source of revenue and employees are seen as an expense. This is exactly the wrong way to run a business. An Interesting Side Note I was very pleasantly surprised to observe a common trait among these highly accomplished CEOs: humility. Much like Jim Collins’ Level Five Leaders, they looked out the window to give away credit and in the mirror to take accountability. They use the word “we” much more than “I.” They were deeply passionate about their organization and fiercely committed to achieving excellence. And they used the word that I believe you do not hear often enough in business: love. In my conversations, it was abundantly evident that these leaders loved their people and their customers. The things I’ve listed above, in the order I listed them, are what drove extraordinary success for the organizations I studied. It seems like common sense, but it is not common practice. Unfortunately, too few businesses have the courage to truly go all in on employees first. What about you? John Spence is widely recognized as one of the top business and leadership experts in the world. He has been working in the credit union industry for more than 20 years and serves as one of the lead instructors for NAFCU’s Management and Leadership Institute. To find out more about John, go to “Some leaders think that culture is too ephemeral, or that it’s just something that naturally arises within the organization. This is not correct. Culture must be designed, managed and nurtured. To get buy-in from the rest of the organization, the entire senior leadership team, and especially the CEO, must be a living example of the culture they want to create in the business.”