A CU Rising Star Shares Insight from Emerging Leaders Training

Lindsey Hartelroad with MountainCrest Credit Union, discusses her Emerging Leaders experience.

7/17/18

Lindsey Hartelroad

Lindsey Hartelroad, MountainCrest Credit Union Lending & Accounts Control Manager

Editor’s note: In April, Lindsey Hartelroad, Lending & Accounts Control Manager with MountainCrest Credit Union, wrote about her experiences during the NWCUA-DDJ Myers Emerging Leaders Program. This is a follow-up to her first writeup. She was awarded the 2018 Strategic Link Tuition Contest to attend the program. The Emerging Leaders Program provides the next generation of credit union leaders the framework they need to coordinate and execute strategies and tactics that will strengthen their CU.

Just a short three months later, we all rejoined for the second session of our Emerging Leaders Program. Having had a taste of the program in the first go-round, I was anxious to jump back into the learning and have the opportunity to practice with the cohort.

After our daily mood check-in, and establishing what we wanted to practice for the week, we were asked to do a group presentation on each of the modules we covered in the first session. We had a presentation on the concept of Centering, Language of Leadership, DISC, Seasons of Change, and Mutual Commitments to Success. This was a great way to re-introduce the concepts and refresh everyone’s memory. It also helped us jump right into presenting in front of the group – something we all felt we needed to practice further. What better place to do this than our dojo?

The ‘Generative Assessment Module’ was the main concept we learned and practiced this second session. Distinguishing the difference between an assessment and an assertion is part of the language of leadership. Assessments are opinions, evaluations, or interpretations, whereas assertions are more definitive, factual statements.

We learned the concept of developing, delivering, soliciting, and receiving assessments. As a leader, having the ability to recognize and receive assessments is very important to develop our weaker areas and become more effective in our leadership roles. Actively seeking the feedback of others is the most influential way for us to commit to our personal growth. Assessments are meant to sharpen our being-ness, and should be embraced.

“The more you hold your assessments as assessments, the more opportunities you have.” – Peter Myers.

This statement became apparent when I participated in a group exercise where we all had to work together to accomplish the given task. Afterward, we were asked for our self-assessments and we received assessments from our coaches and other cohort members. The feedback was relevant and important, but it was also a realization moment, where I became much more aware of my presence in the room. I learned that although it can sometimes be difficult to become aware of your weaknesses, the more you embrace them and are willing to work on them, the more opportunities you have to grow.

When it comes to delivering relevant assessments to others, “getting people’s permission, is a game changer,” according to Peter Myers. This permission helps build an increased level of trust and respect. It allows others to gain openness and receptivity of the feedback being given. It is also crucial to be aware of the environment and the demeanor of those impacted by the feedback. The wrong mood, plus the right conversation, is the wrong conversation. We all learned this when we were little, when mom or dad weren’t in a good mood, it wasn’t the right time to ask! Now, we just apply it to our professional world with our supervisors, peers and team members. Understanding their mood is important to have the proper conversations.

The best way to improve, is to practice! We watched a few videos of presenters, and immediately developed our assessments of them. We correlated body language, presence, and voice tone to their level of confidence and presence in the room. This was an impactful exercise because it became very apparent what qualities great leaders and not-so-great leaders possess. We could quickly distinguish these qualities, and apply those concepts back to what we are learning here in Emerging Leaders.

Then we practiced giving assessments with each other in an exercise where we delivered our strategic project pitches. The best part about being in this cohort with 19 other “tigers” who are all committed to their own learning and growth, is that we all are actively seeking each other’s feedback and are willing and open to help each other grow, without feeling offended.

With the completion of the second session, I felt a change. I left with a deeper level of engagement with the program and an eagerness to work on developing the concepts we had learned. I also felt a deeper connection with members of the cohort and my learning group. Just in the past week of being back at the credit union, I have been much more aware of my presence, and am practicing being more direct. I can already see a positive change in myself as a leader and am looking forward to the rest of the road to come.