Strategies to improve management skills:

Powerful Essays
Strategies to improve management skills:
Training and professional development are important at all organizational levels. But with today's fast-changing landscape, it's even more important at the top.

"If chief executive officers [CEOs] don't stay educated, updated, and informed, I don't see how they can manage a credit union that will survive," says Lee Gardner, CEO of Family Trust Federal Credit Union in Rock Hill, S.C. "The speed of change and the pressure to stay up-to-date are intimidating."

Mike Funk, CEO of Dallas Treasury Credit Union, agrees. "You need more training in all areas of credit union operations. Fifteen years ago, there weren't as many competitors or changes to contend with. Now, if you're content just trying to run your credit union, you're falling behind."

Executives employ a variety of strategies to stay at the top of their game: attending national conferences and specialized seminars, turning to peers, and keeping current through paper and electronic publications. "I go to CUNA's National Roundtable about every other year," says Patrick Calhoun, CEO of State Employees Federal Credit Union in Albany, N.Y. "And we do a lot of educational development internally. Sometimes we'll invite the executive management and boards of nearby credit unions."

Last year, State Employees Federal sponsored a seminar about retail electronic banking, featuring a top consultant and trade association reps who discussed electronic banking's risks and anticipated legal and regulatory challenges. "We need to keep on top of things and ensure that our board is knowledgeable in this area and can make responsible decisions," Calhoun says.

Gardner attends national conferences two or three times a year to stay abreast of trends. Funk attends 10 to 12 conferences and seminars annually, some sponsored by the Texas Credit Union League, covering lending, bankruptcy and collections, attracting deposits, accounting, working with the board, and leadership skills.

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