Emerging Leaders, Session I: Acronyms, ‘Seasons of Organization’ and Plenty of Self-Reflection

Editor’s Note: As the winner of the Northwest Credit Union Association’s Emerging Leadership Scholarship Contest, Verity Credit Union’s Jeremy Sankwich received 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. He also agreed to write about his experience for Anthem after each of the three Emerging Leaders sessions, which take place March 26-28, June 4-6 and Sept. 17-19 in SeaTac, Wash. Here’s his first report:

By Jeremy Sankwich, Mortgage Relationship Officer
Verity Credit Union – See more at: http://nwcua.org/member-resources/member-resources/anthem/verity-credit-union-s-jeremy-sankwich-wins-emerging-leaders-scholarship#sthash.Opsch3GP.dpuf

By Jeremy Sankwich, Mortgage Relationship Officer
Verity Credit Union – See more at: http://nwcua.org/member-resources/member-resources/anthem/verity-credit-union-s-jeremy-sankwich-wins-emerging-leaders-scholarship#sthash.Opsch3GP.dpuf

By Jeremy Sankwich, Mortgage Relationship Officer
Verity Credit Union

What can I say about the first three-day session of Emerging Leaders except, “Woo-hoo!” I can honestly say that some of the best people I have met in the credit union industry thus far were in this class. So much information was shared, inspiring a lot of thought and self-reflection.

A Dojo is More Than Just a Ninja Training School

Dojo is a Japanese term which means “place of the way,” or as instructor Peter Myers told us, “a training facility for leadership.” To Myers, who is a vice president of the DDJ Myers Advancing Leadership Institute, Emerging Leaders is a dojo where credit union employees can come and hone our leadership skills.

There are three places to practice leadership, Myers told us: in our daily work life, in our personal life, and at the dojo. But nowhere is it safer to make mistakes than the “place of the way.” Just ask my wife and my boss. They agree.

DISC: One of Multiple Acronyms We Learned

Many of us have taken personality tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and they are always interesting and often useful. At Emerging Leaders, we used the DISC Behavior Model, and the amount of time we spent discussing the results with Myers, Susan Geear (another DDJ Myers vice president) and Tim Tolliver (a DDJ Myers leadership coach) added so much value to the program.

The discussions allowed us to fully understand our own DISC profile, as well as how a “High-D” works best with a “High-C” and when a “High-I” should probably step in and regulate!

  • D – Driven and Decisive: Takes issues into action
  • I – Influential and Interpersonal: Builds and inspires teams
  • S – Steady, Systematic: Stays with issues to completion
  • C – Compliant and Conscientious: Keeps complexity organized

‘Winter is Coming’

Well, winter is coming for some of us, but not for others!

Have you ever played Twister with 20 people on a 10×10 mat with only four squares? Me neither. But we gave it a try at Emerging Leaders in an effort to better understand the “Seasons of Organization” and how they influence the way we work and interact with others.

I learned something new about myself: I spend way too much time in Summer, and need to step into the occasional Winter. Or as Emerging Leaders classmate Nicole Charshaf said about her own life, “Winter can be a daily occurrence, or even weekly.” Now that’s a concept my California friends would agree with – as long as we’re talking about the relaxing part, not an actual Winter!

  • Spring – Claiming a calling: Exploring new commitments
  • Summer – On purpose: Making and keeping commitments
  • Autumn – Complete: Completing commitments
  • Winter – Exploring: Questioning commitments

During this first three-day session, we also thoroughly explored the MCS (Mutual Commitment to Success) and LDP (Leadership Development Plan). Acronyms, right? It took me a few days just to digest all that we had learned before I could even consider writing a blog post about it.

Now, we are on to the beginnings of individual projects and our first one-on-one coaching sessions. I’m looking forward to all of it with eager anticipation. I’m so happy to be a part of this program, and ready to get after it!

Jeremy Sankwich is a mortgage relationship officer for Verity Credit Union and this year’s winner of the Emerging Leaders Scholarship Contest. For more information about the Emerging Leaders Training Program, go to nwcua.org/emerging-leaders. And look for more reports from Sankwich this summer and fall in Anthem.

Questions about this story? Contact Gary M. Stein: 503.350.2216, gstein@nwcua.org.

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