Scholarship Contest Offers Free Tuition to 2014 Emerging Leaders Program

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2014 Emerging Leaders Scholarship Contest, with the winner receiving free tuition to a program that includes nine days of face-to-face training, several months of project work, one-on-one coaching, and mentoring focused on nurturing the credit union leaders of tomorrow.

The contest, sponsored by the Northwest Credit Union Association’s Strategic Link, is open to “any credit union employee who is on the rise and dreams of moving up in a leadership position.” Emerging leaders can nominate a co-worker, employee, boss — or themselves. Nominees are encouraged to produce a short YouTube video to introduce themselves, tell what they do at their credit union and explain why they should be selected as a finalist.

Nominations will be accepted through Jan. 14, 2014. Three finalists will be selected by a panel of judges on Jan. 20, online voting will continue through Jan. 31, and the winner of a scholarship valued at $2,650 will be announced on Feb. 3.

The 2014 Emerging Leaders Program will take place in three sessions: March 26-28, June 4-6 and Sept. 17-19. All three sessions will take place at the NWCUA Conference Center in SeaTac, Wash. Over the course of nine days, participants will receive face-to-face training in “Strategic Leadership,” “Building Leadership Presence” and “The Practice of Leadership,” and four executive/leadership coaching sessions with program trainers from the DDJ Myers Advancing Leadership Institute.

Leadership Projects will then give participants a chance to apply what they’ve learned at their credit unions and in their communities; they’ll report back to the group in September, and have an opportunity to present final results at the 2014 NWCUA Amplify Convention and Annual Business Meeting in October.

Last year’s scholarship winner, Heather Fate of TAPCO Credit Union, says she walked away from the 2013 program “with an arsenal of tools and a new outlook on my future.” With nominations for 2014 under way, Anthem asked Fate to talk about what the program meant to her. Here’s her report:

“I walked away with an arsenal of tools and a new outlook on my future. I gained confidence, which has altered my leadership presence for the better. This program helped me see the potential and possibilities!”Heather Fate, winner of the 2013 Emerging Leaders scholarship

Emerging Leaders Program ‘Allowed Me to Recognize the Potential in Myself that Others Saw in Me’

By Heather Fate, Compliance Officer
TAPCO Credit Union

When I discovered that I had been nominated for the 2013 Emerging Leaders program — and that I had the opportunity to apply for a full scholarship — I was very surprised and excited to learn more. And so for the first of many times with this program, I stepped out of my comfort zone.

I created a video entry to apply for the scholarship, thinking it was a long shot. But my credit union rallied around me, and I won the chance to begin an amazing journey.

Being a part of the inaugural session meant that there were a lot of unknowns going into the program. What exactly is an Emerging Leaders program? What kind of leader am I? What defines a leader? And most of all, what am I getting myself into? Not only were those questions answered, but the program also exceeded any expectations I had. It allowed for a space of deeper learning. The journey of personal development was amazing.

The confidence I gained, and the improvements I made in my presence and leadership qualities, are among the lasting benefits of completing the program. This experience has allowed me to recognize and own the potential in myself that others saw in me. It has given me a whole new outlook when facing different interactions, challenges and opportunities.

I will be honest and say that the Emerging Leaders program requires a huge commitment, and that you definitely need to be open to the experience to really get the most out of it. But I would highly recommend the program.

The facilitators from DDJ Myers were fantastic, providing one-on-one coaching that was incredibly beneficial. They helped me develop effective communications skills and showed me new ways of interacting with others. They got to the core of what I needed to improve and gave me the tools to reach my goals. If you are open to honest self-assessment, this process is immensely valuable because these skills can be integrated back at work and in your personal life.

The program is also individualized in that each participant works on a different project that culminates in a paper and presentation. You work on the project between sessions, of course, but you make a commitment to the group to remain in contact.

For my project, I chose to tackle the lack of process documentation in our organization. I felt that it would be beneficial to empower employees to quickly find answers and successfully follow credit union policy by documenting processes, utilizing similar formatting and allowing for appropriate accessibility.

For my pilot program, I documented the process for opening business accounts. I found that by equipping staff with the necessary tools and resources, we were able to provide consistent and prompt service to the membership and decrease the time required to open accounts. I will now use what I learned in the Emerging Leaders program to continue my project and work with staff to improve other processes and policies.

One communication model that was very useful in my project was the Mutual Commitment to Success, which allows for open communication and feedback. This model instilled in me the importance of establishing and articulating clear expectations, making sure the conditions of success are fully communicated. This was vital when working on such a collaborative project.

Our organization has benefited from the results of my project and the lessons I have been able to share. My executive management team has mentioned the development they saw in me and the value they say that has brought to our credit union — which speaks volumes.

I walked away with an arsenal of tools and a new outlook on my future. The connections I made during the program will be lasting. I gained confidence, which has altered my leadership presence for the better. This program helped me see the potential and possibilities!

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Emerging Leaders program, and I hope that others take advantage of the valuable lessons they can learn from the program, too.

 

Nominations for the 2014 Emerging Leadership Scholarship Contest must be received by midnight on Jan. 14, 2014. To nominate a co-worker, employee, boss or peer, go here; to nominate yourself, go here. Complete details and contest rules are available on the NWCUA’s website.

The 2014 Emerging Leaders Program will take place in three sessions: March 26-28, June 4-6 and Sept. 17-19. All three sessions will take place at the NWCUA Conference Center in SeaTac, Wash. For an overview of the program, including a list of speakers, hotel accommodations and registration information, go to nwcua.org/emerging-leaders.

Questions? Contact Gary Stein: 503.350.2216, gstein@nwcua.org.

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