Mid Oregon Credit Union’s Jessica George Shares Insights on her Third Emerging Leaders Session

George is this year’s 2019 Emerging Leader’s Strategic Link scholarship recipient.

10/15/2019

Jessica George

Jessica George, District Manager at Mid Oregon Credit Union.

Editor’s Note: Jessica George, District Manager at Mid Oregon Credit Union in Bend, shares her insight on the third session of the 2019 Emerging Leaders program. Jessica was awarded the 2019 Emerging Leaders Strategic Link Scholarship. You may read about her second session here.

Looking back, the Emerging Leaders Program was far more than an education on how to sharpen my leadership skills for my credit union. I now see that it also has provided an opportunity to practice these skills and change long-held beliefs about myself that were sabotaging my growth. I was also able to connect with other like-minded leaders and to see what specifically makes my leadership style unique.

Learning moments can be uncomfortable, painful even, but they are not forgotten easily. If looking for an easy weekend away, this is not the right place. The Emerging Leaders Program (EL) coaches will share their knowledge, help you to stretch yourself, and provide a safe space to practice what you’re learning.

The lessons I took away came not only from the program instructors but also from my peers in the classroom. Together we pushed each other toward the goal of growing our leadership skills. They were direct and honest with their assessments. I was clear with what I personally was looking to develop, and they provided specific feedback that I could use to grow as a leader I took this skill back to my credit union, finding opportunities to practice and seek out coaching from my colleagues. 

I have started making EL connections that go beyond my immediate cohort, to other graduates of the program. Less than a week after the program ended, a member of my cohort connected me with a former student of the EL program who was seeking help solving a problem. I was surprised at just how quickly we could establish an EL connection, using a shared language to tackle the challenge at hand. He continues to refine and develop the skills he learned from the course years prior.  

At my own institution, I had the honor of watching someone I interviewed for a teller position grow into a leader over the years. She graduated last year from the Emerging Leaders program. The real change happened about a year later when I began to see her shift from a quiet bystander during meetings to an engaged and communicative leader. She takes the lead on projects and advances her career with additional educational opportunities. Through both of these individuals, I can see how this program has refined their leadership skills and I am inspired to see how they continue to grow.  

For myself, I will continue to use the Vision Strategy Method to define the problem, get painstakingly clear about my perspective on the situation and the potential consequences of my actions and present the solution, taking the time to seek out the facts and obtain others’ perspectives. I will practice quieting the internal dialogue that prevents me from taking risks and purposely centering throughout the day.

As I learned in the Emerging Leaders Program, I will come prepared to “bring my pen” to all my meetings. I will “do the thing with confidence” and be the Tiger, hungry on the prowl, looking for the next opportunity to grow my leadership. 

As I continue to practice the skills and perspectives I’ve gained through the Emerging Leaders Program, I am excited to see where I will be one year from today. What skills will have become second nature and what reactive habits will have fallen away?  I would highly recommend this program to those individuals, hungry for knowledge of self and willing to put in the hard work to reveal the leader they have inside.