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Trust is essential for CUs.

A leader’s values send powerful messages through words and actions about what is important. Today, of all the commendable values, trust is paramount. As COVID-19 radically changes ways in which companies do business, people are uncertain. Fear abounds. In times like these, great leaders engender trust within the credit union and from their members. They trust people with the truth. A leader’s courage, authenticity and indeed, humility and compassion, generate the trust that’s so critical now.

Tough times can bring out the best in leaders. Throughout this crisis, I have seen outstanding leaders connect at a personal level with their people. They communicate and share themselves as human beings and encourage their team members to do the same. They have shown compassion, understanding and even vulnerability as we all experience this crisis together. They understand that massive unemployment has replaced a tight labor market in just months, and people are fearful. They check in on their employees’ needs, appreciating that for many, suddenly working from home has created difficulty and uncertainty. They see that for many, climbing the company ladder is replaced by an emphasis on just staying employed, and on basic needs related to the safety of, and providing for, family and self. These leaders place their values of compassion and humility front and center, in addition to the vision, authenticity, courage and confidence that they display in normal times.

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