A CU Rising Star Shares Insight from Emerging Leaders Training
Lindsey Hartelroad with MountainCrest Credit Union, discusses her Emerging Leaders experience.
Editor’s note: In April and July, Lindsey Hartelroad, Lending & Accounts Control Manager with MountainCrest Credit Union, wrote about her experiences during the NWCUA-DDJ Myers Emerging Leaders Program. This is her third writeup about her experiences. 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.
It’s crazy to think, just six short months ago, we were beginning our Emerging Leaders’ journey together as a cohort. We have spent many hours on our personal leadership development through one-on-one coaching calls, cohort meetings, and working on our strategic projects. During the third session of the Emerging Leaders program, we were given the opportunity to present ourselves and all that we had learned to each other and our coaches.
For many of us, getting up and speaking in front of an audience is the most uncomfortable situation we could imagine. For others, it is a standard practice in their job roles. The beautiful thing about this group of Emerging Leaders is despite our different ranges of confidence levels, we all are so supportive of each other’s ambitions to grow and stretch ourselves to our full leadership potential.
The third session focused not only on our presentations, but also on assessments. I found both delivering and receiving assessments were just as equally challenging as the presentation itself.
Throughout this program, I learned that assessments are your interpretation or evaluation of a situation based on your own perspective. They are a skill that you can build by focusing your attention not only on what you think or feel, but what caused you to think or feel that way.
I learned the importance of assessments and why they are so valuable for my personal growth and development. Without them, I really wouldn’t have the self-awareness that I do now as a result of the program. Receiving assessments helped me realize how my actions were received by others, and what kind of an interpretation was created as a result. I can now integrate this learning into my personal and professional life by shifting my presence in a room or changing the way I deliver a project idea.
At first, I found it difficult to deliver assessments without the “fluff” or positive comments, to avoid diminishing the presenter’s self-esteem. However, I have learned as an Emerging Leader, how important it is to seek honest, valuable assessments, and not just the “good ones.” As a leader, I want to continually grow, and this requires exposing my “weaker” areas that I may need to work on or develop.
Before jumping into our presentations, we asked our audience to specifically focus on certain elements of our presentation that we wanted direct feedback on. This allowed me to hear different perspectives and compare the feedback to my own self-assessment. Our self-assessments were just as important because we were able to gauge how we felt we did and why, and hear if the audience thought the same. My peers told me I had a confident presence, even though my own self-assessment was that I didn’t think I felt that confident. This made me realize that I may be overthinking or over-analyzing my own internal nerves, whereas I never would have thought that before hearing others’ assessments. If I continue this behavior, it will only hinder my confidence and leadership growth, whereas if I am aware of the fact that I am over-analyzing, I can have more control to stop those thoughts and have more room for opportunity and growth.
I, along with several of my cohort members, will be presenting our projects at the Emerging Leaders Breakout Session that is taking place at MAXX 2018 Oct. 17 at 12:45 p.m. I highly recommend attending this breakout session to hear what we all have to share about our experiences with the Emerging Leaders program – especially if you are interested in becoming a leader or even consider yourself an established leader. There is ALWAYS an opportunity to grow and become better – and this is the place you will hear about how you can make that happen!
Throughout this program, I learned how crucial it is to move into the uncomfortable situations or conversations that I typically would find myself avoiding. Why? The only way to get better is to practice! You don’t just wake up one day and know how to ride a bike, right? You have to put in the time and practice learning how to ride it.
This same concept applies in my personal leadership development. If I continue to “sit on the sidelines” or in Emerging Leaders terms – “sit on a shelf, like a teacup,” I will remain stationary, without growth. We were empowered to become tigers and be hungry and eager for more – more feedback, more learning, more stretching, more self-evolving.
As we ended our last session together as a cohort, it became very real to me just how much we had all bonded and learned together over the last six months of this intensive leadership program. It was admirable to rejoin every few months in between sessions and be able to see and feel the difference in others’ leadership presence and confidence. We all embraced and encouraged each other along the way to create an experience in our DOJO that will be unforgettable.
However, our journey doesn’t end here. We are just beginning on our path of personal leadership development. We have been taught the concepts and given the tools to help our leadership abilities evolve over the course of our careers, and we will continue to be tigers!
Editor’s note: Registration for 2019 Emerging Leaders program will be open soon. For those interested in learning more, contact Carmen Vigil, NWCUA Director of Cooperative Momentum.