Who are the Future Leaders of the Credit Union Movement?
A recent comment on this blog from Hap Landies deserves a bigger spotlight. In response to a comment I left to Mark Arnold, Hap writes:
Ron, I’ve been working in credit unions for more than 30 years. I know hundreds of C-level officials, and I disagree that there is a “meaningful number of young professionals involved with managing, leading, and running credit unions…..” There is indeed a cadre of outspoken young people on the blogosphere and around the watercooler, but from what I’ve observed, they are more junior level people from credit union marketing and training departments, and the numerous marketing agencies that want to sell them stuff. They are indeed a rah rah bunch, but they aren’t leading their organizations now, nor will they be leading them in the future. The path to the corner offices doesn’t go through the marketing departments of credit unions. Never has and never will.
I should add……..thankfully for us.
What do you think? Is Hap right?
My take: The question of whether or not the future leaders of CUs will come from marketing can’t be answered without understanding why the past leaders haven’t come from marketing. Two reasons dominate:
1. Worn-rug syndrome. Is there a rug in your house or office that has a path worn-into it? And what do people do when there’s a path already worn-into the rug? They walk on it. So when the path to the CEO position has always been filled with people from a particular part of the organization, not only does the incumbent CEO think the position should be filled by someone from that path, but so does the board. And what happens is that marketing isn’t considered a source for the job. Read the rest of Ron Shevlin's blog post.