Takeaways from Global Women’s Leadership Network: How to Lead and Manage Change

Looking to move up in your credit union career or to help others thrive? Connect with a GWLN Sister Society near you.

Women's Leadership Network group

Professionals from five credit unions came together for the Global Women’s Leadership Network Willamette Sister Society meeting Nov. 8. Their goal: to ensure opportunities for women and higher-level thinking.

11/20/18

More than 30 professionals representing five credit unions networked and enjoyed a thought leadership presentation on managing change at a recent Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) Willamette Chapter meeting in Albany, Ore.

The regional Sister Society of the GWLN was organized by Central Willamette Credit Union President and CEO, Stacie Wyss-Schoenborn and Northwest Community Credit Union Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Melissa Vigil.

“We know from the World Council of Credit Unions and from the Filene Research Institute that despite having similar ambition, women don’t always achieve the same level of success as men,” Wyss-Schoenborn said. She encouraged attendees to connect with those in similar positions, with potential mentors, and to network during the event.

“It is easier to borrow good ideas and personalize them rather than to re-create the wheel,” she added.

To that end, the Central Willamette GWLN Sister Society invited Shari Storm, owner of Category 6 Consulting and author of “Motherhood is the New MBA,” to share her insights on how attendees could push themselves to the next level. Storm spent 16 years as a Seattle credit union marketer before launching her business, which provides public speakers, credit union strategic planning, and fintech consulting.

Shari Storm holding book

Shari Storm with her new book, “Motherhood is the new MBA.”

“I found that once I had children, I was actually better at my job,” Storm said. “I got caught up in this idea that being a parent could actually make you better at your job.”

Storm’s book has now been published in four countries.

She shared key takeaways for managing change.

First, she recommends leaders remember that they’re further along in the process than employees when presenting new information. The leader has through and processed it, but the change is new information to staff. Give them time to process the information.

“Don’t interpret an emotional pause as resistance,” Storm advised. “The best thing you can do is say, ‘let’s talk about this again tomorrow.’”

She also encourages change agents to hand over control whenever possible. It empowers the team and allows leaders to show up as their best selves. She advised attendees to make two lists – the factors they have control over, and those they don’t. She then recommend they toss out the list of things they can’t control and let that be the last time they think about those things.

Finally, she said when change is announced, “Make it personal but don’t take it personal.” Not all employees will care about the big picture, and nor should they have to. The team, she noted, will rise to the occasion if “you look them in the eye and ask them to.”

The dialogue after the presentation was lively and informative for attendees. The Sister Society is planning its next meeting in February.

Editor’s note: GWLN is open to men and women who work in credit unions. If you would like to connect with a Sister Society in your region, or start one, contact Carmen Vigil, Director, Cooperative Momentum at the Northwest Credit Union Association.