Musings from the CU Suite

Feb 09, 2012

Change Your Point of View; Mailbag

Written by Anthony Demangone, with the help of a bunch of people.

A number of my colleagues and I were in a meeting recently.  Issue du jour?  Did a third-party product make sense for NAFCU and its member credit unions?

We chatted a good deal about important issues:

  • Price
  • Utility, both for us, and our members
  • Hidden costs, in terms of consulting and in-house staff attention

It was a good discussion.  At one point in the meeting, however, we had to ask ourselves this question: How would Fred view this from his seat?  ("Fred" is Fred Becker, NAFCU's CEO.)  Given Fred's concerns, which include balancing the budget, answering to the board, executing NAFCU's strategic plan, etc., what would he want to know?  What questions would he ask?

Based on the new point of view, it quickly became apparent that we were in no position to recommend moving forward.  We needed more data.  A good deal more.

Changing your point of view is essential.  As agents of a corporation (be it a trade association, or a credit union), we all work on behalf of someone else.  The more we can view things from their point of view, the better. 

***

I've asked for some management gems from readers, and you have responded.  Here's a few from the mailbag:

  • Mission first, people always.  (Must keep priority on both …Not easy, but can be done.)
  • Napoleon’s Corporal.  (Pick someone down low on the "organization chart." Have them read/listen to plans/procedures.  If he/she understands, good to go.)
  • Three points of light before speaking…Is it needed?  Is it the truth?  Is it kind?
  • Maximum effective range of an excuse is zero meters!
  • Prioritize your day in writing; items unfinished can be moved to the next appropriate date, even if it's a month away (or more).  Issues moved repeatedly into the future should be reviewed for either abandonment or possibly for reassignment to another co-worker.  This process has served me well.
  • Learn the value of the unexpressed thought.  Listen more, talk less.  Let others come up with the idea that you thought of twenty minutes ago, but you had the foresight to keep quiet and let them figure it out for themselves.

And finally, this gem, reportedly from Will Rogers:

  • "There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."

And with that, my good friends, have a great weekend!