Unconventional Speaker Connects at NWCUA/CUES Executive Summit

Combining research, humor, neuroscience, and her own brand of theory, Anne-Louise Sterry wowed attendees at the Executive Summit in Sunriver, Oregon July 26. The Summit was presented by the Northwest Credit Union Association and the Northwest Council of the Credit Union Executives Society (CUES).

Sterry’s bottom line is that if people understand how the brain is wired and learn to rewire it, they can leverage change to their benefit.

Part of her unconventional delivery included a full-dress visit from her alter ego, “Aunt Lena,” a bossy grandmotherly type from Italy who was not shy about giving advice.

Sterry’s approach was well received and stood apart in an agenda that also included dialogue with Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President and CEO Bill Cheney, high-level economic discussions and technology presentations.

Believes Sterry: Men and women are “wired differently.”

Men are wired to put everything in boxes—sports, holidays, wife, children, and when they’re in a box, Sterry says, they can’t think outside it.

Women, on the other hand have wires connected “all over the place” to everything.

Sterry believes the brain remains flexible and changeable throughout life. She suggested that leaders wanting to embrace and leverage change keep these things in mind:

  • Enthusiasm and joy are infectious! Joy is like a magnet. It sucks people to you. They’ll want to be in your presence and in the presence of your people.
  • Embrace self-responsibility.
  • Change your story! Your brain believes what you tell it. If you wake up cranky. Tell your brain you are happy. It will listen!
  • Smiling releases endorphins, and then gets other people to smile. Laughing has the same impact.

It was sound advice and refreshing content for executives who also engaged in intense learning during the two-day Executive Summit. If you’re feeling as if you “had to be there” to fully engage in these concepts, it’s true the live performance was much more engaging than the recap article.

What will the NWCUA/CUES present next? The Leadership Symposium is Nov. 6, and registration is open online.


Questions? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225, lheider@nwcua.org.

Posted in Events.