Imagine the chaos on the deck of a ship if the captain had no idea where he wanted to steer. Or the lack of coordination on the football field if the quarterback couldn’t figure out whether he wanted to run it or pass it.
The captain is in command of his ship. The quarterback controls the action on the football field. Your bank or credit union executive management team calls the shots on which way the financial institution goes.
A lack of insight at the leadership level is a dangerous thing. If these individuals lack the interest, drive and/or knowledge to take the wheel and really drive the financial institution bus, you can expect to spend a lot of time stuck in the mud.
How can you help ensure that you have this critical insight at the leadership level? Following are a few ideas.
- Recruit for diversity. Your executive management team should represent a broad cross-section of the consumers you serve. Particularly, you need good gender and age-range equity on your team.
- Recruit outside the financial services industry. It’s great to have people with years of experience working in banks and credit unions. However, this can lead to a silo-mentality. For real insight, look to staff your leadership team with people that have spent time outside the world of financial products and services. What they bring in from the realm beyond banks and credit unions is invaluable.
- Recruit for drive. Your executive management team should overflow with people dedicated to the bank or credit union, its consumers and its continuing success. These are the people that willingly go above and beyond to keep abreast of hot-topic issues and developments within the industry. They do this by actively networking with peers, reading journals and blogs and attending key conferences.
The last thing you want your bank or credit union to look like is a ship stranded on the rocks or a hapless football team losing by 50 points. By determining now to instill authentic and dynamic insight in your executive management team, you can avoid this fate.