Supporting Internal Leadership Initiatives with Leadership in Action Grants

Here at the Foundation, you might say leadership development is pretty important to us. In order for the credit union movement to grow and thrive, it’s imperative that we have good leaders at the helm today and are committed to investing in the development of the leaders of tomorrow.

We promote credit union leadership development through a variety of structured scholarships and grants; however, up to this point, we haven’t offered options for individual credit unions looking to fund their own internal leadership development initiatives. Until now. We are proud to announce the addition of the Leadership in Action grant to our suite of leadership development opportunities.

Leadership in Action grants are designed to help credit unions implement leadership initiatives within their own institutions. The grants are intended to support all leadership initiatives, but are focused on the creation of strategies, systems and methods for achieving performance excellence, stimulating innovation, building knowledge and capabilities, and ensuring organizational sustainability.

Laramie Plains FCU was the first recipient of a Leadership in Action grant.

The credit union has experienced a considerable amount of change over the past 7 years, including personnel changes that have placed several staff members in positions of leadership for the first time. In addition, external pressures combined with aggressive growth goals were requiring employees to do more and more to meet the needs of members. They needed a way to eliminate, or vastly reduce, the growing frustration within their staff while simultaneously achieving their goals.

The staff at Laramie Plains has attended workshops, webinars and conferences to increase their technical and leadership skills, but were struggling to fully implement all they had learned. They determined that the best course of action was for several of their leaders to work with an executive coach. They felt that one-on-one, ongoing coaching, customized to the needs of each staff member was the best way to enhance individual professional development and also work toward the common goals of the credit union.

Through funding from the Leadership in Action grant, Laramie Plains committed to a 12-month process that included both workshops and one-on-one executive coaching. The results have been tremendous. Communication and collaboration between staff members have dramatically improved. They’re no longer afraid to take on new ideas, even knowing that they might fail. Motivation and morale have sky rocketed. All in all, their one-year Return on Executive Coaching Investment was 144%.

Executive Coaching was a way for Laramie Plains FCU to invest in their people, in the same way they’ve invested in buildings, infrastructure and technology. And the Leadership in Action grant allowed the Foundation to invest in Laramie Plains. The grant provided the support they needed to fulfill their own leadership initiative.

If the leadership initiatives within your credit union could benefit from some additional funding, please visit the Foundation website to fill out an application. In particular, we are interested in leadership initiatives that are values-based and help to encourage the entire workforce to contribute, develop, learn, be innovative, or embrace meaningful change. Please note that this is an ongoing grant with no application deadline.

For more information, and to find out more about the Laramie Plains FCU executive coaching experience, please visit the grant application page on the Foundation website.

About Dan Finerty

Dan Finerty is the Director of Marketing at the Mountain West Credit Union Association, a Credit Union champion, a Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE), and an award-winning marketer. Dan has over 14 years of marketing experience in communications, retail, packaged goods, and, of course, Credit Unions. He believes that Credit Unions have an incredible story to tell and works with some of the brightest Credit Union professionals to help promote Credit Unions to the public. Dan holds two Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing and in Management. He is also a swell guy.

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