I had the pleasure of speaking at the Louisiana Credit Union League's Young Professional Network Conference in Baton Rouge this weekend, and had a great time discussing ways that young credit union professionals can help their credit unions grow and better serve the needs of its members.
After my presentation we had time for a Q&A and a general discussion. One recurring theme that popped up was the subject of CEOs standing in the way of progress.
"I'm trying to get this initiative pushed through, but at every turn I get pushback from above."
"Whenever we try to do something that's more exciting, more fun, our ideas get whittled down to a shell of what they previously were."
During my acting days, a particularly astute director once gave me this piece of wisdom: "Villains never believe that they are the villain of their own story. In their mind, they are right."
This is not to paint all upper management as villains, but rather to help you identify if you are the one holding up progress. No one ever wants to think of themselves as being a barrier to progress, but you may be inadvertently creating roadblocks for your team.
If you're a CEO or in upper management, I'd like for you to ask yourself a few things:
- Do you reject new ideas because "we've always done it this way"?
- Is your unwillingness to learn new technologies keeping your credit union from moving forward in the area digital media?
- How often are new initiatives approved by you or your office?
These were all concerns of the young professionals I was speaking with. They often felt like the ideas they had were ignored and pushed to the side. The enemy of innovation is bureaucracy and tradition.
Let's keep moving forward.
DeAndre Upshaw is a former Young & Free Texas Spokester. He's a marketing professional living in Dallas and a Beyonce enthusiast. DeAndre is the host and executive producer of The State of Awesome. Follow him on Twitter and check out his personal website.