Who needs you today?

first_imgThe credit union movement was founded on the principle of service.We’ve all heard the phrases:Not for profit, not for charity, but for service.People helping people.The real job of a credit union is to prove, in modest measure, the practicality of the brotherhood of man.Credit union history teaches us that the ideal of service means more than better rates, lower fees, and friendly service. My experience as a credit union employee for more than 25 years, and as a strategic consultant for past seven years, has taught me that credit union service was founded on a little bit more. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”Like the fictional world depicted in Charles Dickens’s “A Tale of Two Cities,” the world around us is full of hope and despair. It’s a time of the haves and the have-nots; it’s a time of peace and a time of war; it’s a time of prosperity and it’s a time of poverty. While times and the world have changed drastically since the beginning of the credit union movement, the need for meaningful service is higher than ever. There are a lot of people who need financial help today, and that involves more than a lower interest rate, a smile, and a cool mobile app. They need you.Most of us (but not all) get itI talk to a very diverse group of credit union people every single day. It’s what I do. Many of these conversations are focused on why their credit union exists, what makes their credit union uniquely stand out, and how they can remain relevant in a changing world. The most successful conversations (and strategies) are centered on a deeper definition of service. By deeper, I mean these credit union leaders will tell you that they exist to help people who are experiencing financial challenges. They do this by truly listening, then offering good financial advice, flexible products (and underwriting), and second chances. Their teams trip over each other trying to find ways to help those members experiencing the greatest need. They are less judgmental of people and the financial challenges they are faced with, they have empathy, and they spend more time looking at situations from the member’s perspective. I get to work with a host of credit unions strongly engaged in their local communities, taking on tough community and consumer challenges. These leaders are investing (financially and in Human Resources) to help overlooked consumers attain affordable housing, reliable transportation, and micro small-business loans to help create wealth and lift families out of poverty. Ask these credit union folks and they will tell you they have a very strong and clear cause, and it resonates with their people and the communities they serve.They love to share amazing stories of how they helped members through a difficult challenge. Their measurement of success is deeper than earnings, capital, and growth. Examples of what they measure and track include credit migration scores to see how borrowers who had less than prime credit at the time of the loan have improved their overall credit score over time; the number of jobs created (through new micro-business lending); first-time account holders (previously unbanked); the number of first-time homeowners; and the number of consumers they helped achieve citizenship. This list isn’t all encompassing, but it provides good examples of a deeper level of service and impact.I love to talk to these CU people. Whether it’s their boards, management or their staff, these people light up whenever they get the opportunity to tell you about the special services they provide to their membership and their communities. And their stories aren’t one-offs; they happen frequently, and are common themes between branches.Why it mattersThere are a lot of people and communities struggling today. If you take a moment to look closely around you, you will find people who need you. Sick family members, discouraged friends, stressed-out coworkers, and struggling credit-union members. They need someone to notice and help them. Your help – whether it’s a word of comfort or encouragement, removing an obstacle, financial help, advice, or just active listening – could have a meaningful, positive impact. Today, you could make a meaningful difference in someone’s life.From a personal perspective, giving service gives us a stronger sense of purpose and fulfillment. I believe there is a difference between fulfillment and happiness. Fulfillment is more important to me, as it’s deeper and more long-lasting than happiness. I’m happy when I get to go fly fishing, but that happiness isn’t long-lasting. However, the fulfillment I receive from helping someone is deeper: I become a better person, and it is long-lasting. We all want to be happier, but I would recommend pursuing those things that provide greater fulfillment and personal growth.From a credit union’s perspective, the more our people help one another, our members and our communities at large, the greater the fulfillment for the individual and the culture. This will lead to a stronger brand, and greater growth and financial results. I believe that culture eats strategy for breakfast: greater growth and financial success will follow a stronger credit union service culture. A helpful culture will make us employers of choice, and we will attract community partners that share our values and purpose.From a credit union movement’s perspective, doubling down on our legacy of selfless service is all that will separate us from the rest of the mainstream financial services. I know that our cooperative structure is different, but I honestly don’t think it matters much to consumers en masse. If I’m like most average consumers, I don’t think the world needs more for-profit banks or “bank light” credit unions. There are plenty available to take care of those who are in good financial shape. My research and experience with best-practice community development credit unions has taught me that there is high need for not-for-profit credit unions that will help people with financial challenges and address real challenges in the communities they serve. I also know that these service models are sustainable, and among the fastest-growing and most profitable. It’s true, credit unions can do very well by doing good.If you haven’t yet done so today, I encourage you to take a moment, look around you, identify someone in need, and go make a positive difference. If you are in leadership, I ask you to take an extra moment to consider your membership and the communities you serve. Who needs your help the most, and how can you marshal the resources needed to make a remarkable difference? Now, get after it. 37SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Scott Butterfield Scott is the Principal of Your Credit Union Partner, PLLC.Your Credit Union Partner (YCUP) is a trusted advisor to the leaders of more than 100 credit unions located throughout … Web: www.yourcupartner.org Detailslast_img read more

Martinez wary of improving QPR

first_imgRoberto Martinez thinks timing is not in Everton’s favour ahead of Monday’s Premier League clash with QPR. Rangers have won two of their last three games, beating fellow strugglers Leicester and Burnley to climb out of the relegation zone. QPR’s leading scorer Charlie Austin is suspended following his dismissal against Burnley but Martinez has been impressed by Harry Redknapp’s side. Among the disappointing results have been draws with Hull last time out and Swansea, and defeat by Crystal Palace. It has been a frustrating start to the season for a team that have ambitions of challenging for the top four, but Martinez is confident a better run of form is round the corner. He said: “We enjoy playing at home because it’s your environment and you can affect things a lot easier. “Every game is difficult. I know it’s a cliche but it’s true. In every other league you can count two or three games a season that maybe you can cruise through. That doesn’t happen in the Premier League. “We need to be a team that are capable of getting points away from home as well as at home but it’s true that at the moment, points wise, we’re not reflecting what we want and we’re catching up a little bit. “That means that we need to get a big run of good results and that starts with a strong, confident performance at home. “We’re getting very close to the half-way point of the season, the squad is strong, we’ve had a lot of good experiences, the competition for places is huge and I do feel we’re ready to set really high standards in the league that I believe are going to give us the points that our performances would deserve.” The Everton manager said: “QPR had a little bit of a difficult start because obviously when you get new players you’re trying to find the right combinations. “I think Harry Redknapp now has found the right formula and they are in the best moment of their season. They’ve been unfortunate in a couple of games, I think they should have had more points than what they’ve got. “I know they’ve got Charlie Austin missing for this game but I think this group are in a good moment and we respect them hugely. “I’ve always admired Harry Redknapp as a manager with his experience and his management skills and know-how.” What should play in Everton’s favour is that the game is at Goodison Park, and QPR have yet to pick up a single point on their travels. Martinez is wary of reading too much into that, though, saying: “The results that they’ve had have been well deserved. Even away from home, I thought the Southampton performance they were very unfortunate not to get a reward from that. “You don’t look back when you face a team. All you’re looking at is how well you can perform and obviously we’re looking at a very important period for us in the league to try to get as many points as we can.” Goodison has hardly been a fortress for Everton so far, with the Toffees winning only two of their seven home games in the league. Press Associationlast_img read more