Northwest Community Credit Union’s Ari Farrell Reflects on Their Emerging Leaders Experience

Ari Farrell, Industrial Hemp Program Analyst at Northwest Community Credit Union.


Editor’s Note: The Emerging Leaders Training Program helps credit union professionals build the skills they need to coordinate and execute strategies and tactics for their organizations. This year, the program is taking place virtually, allowing participants to engage and learn at their own pace through one-on-one coaching, group work, assessments, real-time interactive sessions, and pre-recorded presentations of core modules. 

Ari Farrell, Industrial Hemp Program Analyst at Northwest Community Credit Union, was awarded the 2020 Emerging Leaders Strategic Link Scholarship. Below, Farrell shares insight on their experience participating in the program so far. This piece is part one of a three-part series.

Without a doubt, 2020 has shifted all of us into new roles, and adapting to this change is proving to be an ever-expanding adventure. Learning through change and hard times takes a commitment to showing up to lead. When the opportunity came, I knew I had to say, “Yes!” to the Emerging Leaders Program.

From the beginning of the program, there is a lot of learning for all of us, including defining who we think we are and who we want to become as leaders.

I went into this program knowing and believing that I would change. In fact, I asked for this change without knowing just how much change to expect. As an introduction, I completed a Leadership Assessment that laid the foundation for the learning ahead. Learning about where I see myself now is assisting me with identifying where I want to be. I am learning about which soft skills I need to improve; this is valuable to me, in that I am able to break down my behaviors and clearly define them. I am now able to actively practice shifting into new behaviors and see how I lend myself to others in a professional environment, using the program’s communication and behavior model. Practicing these shifts — both in my personal life as well as professional life — is essential to helping build up that confidence to be more out-front when it is needed. I am giving myself space to try new things and be vulnerable, asking for what I need, and learning how to best leverage others in support of my commitment to move forward as a confident and self-empowered leader.

Because we often don’t see the gaps in our own skills as leaders, we are getting valuable feedback in the form of a 360-leadership assessment. In order to grow and stretch myself into becoming a self-aware leader who is not afraid to ask for help, a leader who can become vulnerable and do the hard work of growing along with a team, I will use this feedback to polish my Leadership Development Plan and create a roadmap for my career.  

In the Emerging Leaders Program, I am being challenged to expand my goals, to think beyond the next month, beyond the next big idea or project, and into the next few years of my career. Now more than ever, I’m reflecting on leadership both inside and outside the credit union industry, and reading examples of what makes teams shine. Understanding what it takes to perform at a high level reinforces these ideas within my mind and allows me to articulate my vision and foster a change in who I am becoming as a leader. Already I can see that this is just the beginning.

Look for part two of this series, coming to Anthem in December.

Posted in Emerging Leaders.