Emerging Leaders: Assessing, Applying and Wrapping Up

Emerging Leaders is a career development program offered by the Your Association and the DDJ Myers Advancing Leadership Institute.  The program includes nine days of face-to-face training, coaching, mentoring, and project work between sessions.


During the last week of Emerging Leaders we practiced the art of listening and asking for assessments.

One take-a-way was the importance of listening to people when they’re seeking advice, feedback, or assessments and ensuring that the response I give, answers what they asked for. Receiving assessments can be hard to hear at times but if you can listen with an open mind and look for the opportunities for growth, they can be highly beneficial.

An assessment is an opinion based on someone else’s facts or their life experiences. I take that into consideration when I am on the receiving end. Doing that allows me to take what I can from their feedback and apply what I feel is necessary to improve.

As an example, in preparation for the presentation of my project to the cohorts, I practiced it many times in front of colleagues. Each time I did, I requested the same feedback. The responses I got did not always match what I was looking for, so I learned to sift through the fluff and applied what was valuable for me, to make my presentation better.

The learning from week three really hit home for me. I internalized it and looked for all the areas listening and giving assessments would be beneficial. What I realized was how often those tools could be applied.

For example, in interviews, understanding the importance of answering the questions that are asked. An even better example for me was how it applied to interactions with members. Whether they are asking questions, are upset about something or are requesting a loan, it is so important to truly listen to what their need is—whether they are able to put it into words or not—and giving them an honest assessment of what I can do to help them. The applicable possibilities became endless.

Wrapping Up

Embodying the leadership tools taught to us over the last six months has led me to come out on the other side as a different leader. Though the program has ended, the learning never does. I have learned to recognize different types of conversations and how to navigate through them to be successful. I learned to speak with purpose and to carry myself in the leadership manner that I admire.

My self confidence has gotten better since starting the program as well. In the beginning, I was hesitant about putting myself out there because I felt it exposed my weaknesses. However, what I found was just the opposite, as I now sit on a Board of Directors as a Vice President and being sought after for other Boards. I had always envisioned myself as being in a position that would have the greatest impact to the most amount of people. The invaluable lessons I learned in Emerging Leaders will help catapult me into that executive leadership roll I now strive for.

I would encourage any organization to invest in its employees and send them through Emerging Leaders. What they will find, will be a new breed of leaders, eager to make a difference and striving for that next step.

Takeaways from the 2016 class:

“I have found my voice.”

“The greatest impact was seeing myself change.”

“It was in me the whole time. I needed these tools to help me understand how.”

Apply Now: Emerging Leaders 2017

Learn to develop new strategies to address today’s challenges. Build strong, lifelong professional relationships with peers from other credit unions. Receive national-quality training from top-tier presenters at a convenient location and an affordable price. And more, all with Emerging Leaders.

Visit the Emerging Leaders Breakfast during the 2016 MAXX Convention in SeaTac to learn more, or visit the 2017 program page here.

Questions about this story? Contact Eric Horvath: 503.350.2222, ehorvath@nwcua.org.

Posted in NWCUA.