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Posts Tagged ‘lobbying’

Our time is now

September 14, 2010 Leave a comment

I went through the DE program a little over one year ago.  I would say that about half of the attendees (myself included) were under 40, fascinating when you consider that this age group of employees is often times neglected when it comes to opportunities for career development.  So I decided to do something about it and start a group to foster the talent in my generation.  Last week New Mexico had it’s first Credit Union Leaders of Tomorrow (CULT) meeting.  Any thoughts of minimal interest I may have had vanished as soon as I started receiving the feedback from those that attended the first CULT meeting.  They are pumped!

Here’s where it gets interesting… Last night we hosted the first fundraiser for a candidate since I started at the Association three years ago.  It was very well attended by the CEOs of  the various credit unions in Albuquerque. The kicker? Over half of the CULT members attended.  They knew the importance of being there and defending the movement they work for and love.  You see, working for a credit union is not just another job, it’s a calling.  Credit unions are vehicles for the average working person to achieve his/her dreams.

Generation Y employees are energized and I would bet we understand the need of getting involved in the political process better than the previous generation of leaders.

If you don’t want another interchange or MBL defeat, I challenge you to identify the next generation of leaders in your credit union/organization and allow them to get involved, to represent your credit union.  You will end up with more passionate, member focused and loyal employees who will take your credit union to the next level.

Related article: Raise your hand if you were a teller

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Till death do us part

September 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Many people underestimate the power of loyalty.  You name it, people are loyal to religion, a political party, an airline, a bank or credit union and friends, its in our DNA – unless your flakey! Once someone becomes loyal to something, it is often times very difficult to break that loyalty.

With me so far?

But how do you build these loyalties? Think of it as a love relationship – it takes months, years to build the trust and loyalty that will lead to marriage.

hugs and hugs

Image by happykatie via Flickr

Throughout the entire process you have to listen and learn what the significant other wants.  So long as the person feels they are loved and acknowledged, that relationship will cherish and continue.  However, if the bond of trust is broken, the loyalty will break apart and often times leads to a break up or divorce. So, don’t cheat on them, treat them right and cater to their needs!

Easy enough, no?

I bring this topic up because often times, companies make it a goal to expand wallet share with their clients (deepening client loyalty) but they struggle on how to get there.  As I stated before, it’s frankly rather simple, you have to get to know the needs and wants of your target audience and you have to do your best to meet those expectations; they must feel you’ve got their back. But I think that often times institutions get lost in the translation and focus too much on the numbers and lose sight of what their goal is and what has to get done to get there.  What happens if you neglect your spouse?

This dynamic also takes place in politics as politicians also have loyalties.  What did I say about loyalties before? It takes time, effort and TLC to build them.  Additionally, the relationship has to be mutually beneficial.  Again…

sometimes organizations want for lawmakers to just do what they are asking them to do.  They forget that they have to work with politicians and earn their loyalty.  One of the main things that I do as a lobbyist is build trust, strengthen relationships.  Organizations have to learn to do that too.

Here’s where many people get hung up though… you gotta have a mutually beneficial relationship for there to be any true loyalty (you scratch my back, I scratch yours!).  I’m not saying that if you’re trying to get things done in politics you go and buy your congressman, if you do, you might end up “stuck” for several years, somewhere you don’t want to be!  But if a politician is an advocate of your cause you have to at the very least let those in your organization know that the politician is on their side, that he’s got their back and is working for them.  You must work to ensure that politician comes back to the legislature, GET INVOLVED!

Those that neglect their marriage and friendships end up very alone.

Be sure to provide your feedback, comment and share with your friends!

The need to get involved

September 2, 2010 Leave a comment

A couple of weeks ago I sent a message to the Development Educators Listserv regarding the need to get involved in our political process.  I want that message to be one of the main themes of my blog.  With that in mind, here’s the message I sent:

I just wanted to provide my .02 to this exchange of ideas.  For a very long time credit unions have been used to just *maybe* issuing a check to the PAC and thinking that is all that needs to be done and I believe underestimate the importance of getting involved in politics.   In my opinion, this is a huge contributor to why, as William pointed out, we have not been successful in key objectives of our legislative agenda.

Furthermore, if a majority of credit unions started payroll deduction for their employees and stressed the importance of contributing, I guarantee you that we would be in the top 5 PACs on that list.

Anyone that cares for the movement has to get involved.  While talking to one of the hill veterans a couple of months ago, he revealed to me that there are several Congressmen who are or have been on bank boards.  There are currently zero Congressmen on a credit union board.  In addition to doing a better job at fundraising and helping candidates monetarily, we have to realize that we also have to get engaged in the “process”.  The type of involvement that I’m referring to is going to campaign activities, getting involved in the races and informing those candidates about the credit union’s mission, philosophy and what it’s doing in the community.  Letting your members know what elected officials (or candidate) will empower your credit union as it seeks to serve its members better is also of upmost importance.  We always tell elected officials how many members are their constituents, but these numbers are meaningless if we don’t let those members know who is on their side.

Ultimately, credit unions need to get involved in grassroots activities and partisan communications to their members (you would send a mailer to only the members of your credit union that belong to the same political party as the candidate that you’re supporting).

This is the only way that credit unions will thrive in the political environment and is a great opportunity to engage your members and create member loyalty.  We lost the interchange battle and we cannot afford this to happen when the battle is over taxation or CRA.

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