Emerging Leaders, Exemplary Leadership: A Conversation for Mutual Success

September 25, 2012

By Deedee Myers, Leadership Consultant and Executive Coach, DDJ Myers, Ltd.

Emerging leaders are moving into roles with increasing strategic scope, responsibility, and spheres of influence. The shift from responsibility for day-to-day transactions to creating vision and designing strategic initiatives and effectively deploying resources requires working a different muscle of leadership. This is the muscle for exemplary leadership.

This article introduces a leadership practice that I have seen realize great success in credit unions, in one-to-one relationships, and within teams. This leadership practice is a Conversation for Mutual Success, and, when used as a standard for communication, produces exemplary results with staying power.

The Conversation for Mutual Success has this as its underlying foundation: Two people involved in a conversation or action together are doing so with a mutual commitment to success regardless of role or title. Each individual wants the other to be successful and therefore organizes his or her communication, actions, and feedback to support the success of the other person. In a practical sense, it requires exemplary communication, openness, and deep listening. Here are some basic conversational characteristics to consider.

  • Is there a shared vision? Can each individual speak about the vision with authenticity and in a way that is understandable to the other person?
  • Is there open communication about what is expected from each person to fulfill the shared vision? Can each person in the conversation clearly articulate his or her expectations for success in a way that is 100% understandable by the other person? How will you know that the other person understands and agrees with your expectations?
  • Have you thought about what type of communication style you need to adopt to produce the feeling that the other person was heard, was offered and accepted the opportunity to express his or her own views, and completed the conversation with a felt sense of commitment from you?
  • After the conversation, is your relationship with the other person worse, better, or the same as it was before you started the conversation?
  • How do you assess your capacity for taking on a new initiative? How do you rate your sincerity to be in this Conversation for Mutual Success? What is your competency to deliver for this initiative? Can you show up with consistent reliability with everything else you have on your plate?
  • How do you assess the capacity, sincerity, reliability, and competence of the other person who is in this commitment with you?
  • What specific requests do you have for support? What offers will you make to ensure a mutual commitment to success?
  • Could you ask the other person, “How am I showing up for you?”

I have great admiration for the emerging leader who moves with intention as he or she enters a conversation and moderates and adapts his or her style throughout that conversation. Doing so creates more space for participants to feel and move with commitment and to experience success. Accepting increased responsibility requires advanced leadership skills and practices.

I have one final question: “What are you doing today to develop your exemplary leadership skills?”


Interested in Learning More?

Deedee Myers is the founder and CEO of DDJ Myers, Ltd., and co-founder of the Advancing Leadership Institute. For the past 20 years, she has been passionate about establishing and developing humans to thrive in any economic environment.

She will lead a breakout session next week at the Northwest Credit Union Association’s (NWCUA’s) 2012 Convention and Annual Business Meeting with Mike Sessions entitled, “Board Succession Planning.” Scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 4:15 p.m., the session will outline what to do and what to avoid in the board recruitment process.

Myers is also slated to speak at the Emerging Leaders Networking Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 3. Specifically created for young credit union professionals, the breakfast will offer an interactive discussion of the need for leadership development in today’s business environment, including a look at developing emotional intelligence and generational leadership.

Complete registration information can still be found online, along with the full agenda, details about speakers, presenters, sessions and networking opportunities, and information about participating in the tradeshow.


Questions? Contact Training Programs Coordinator Yuri Jung: 206.340.4817, yjung@nwcua.org

Posted in Compliance News, NCUA.