Got a great idea but your Manager said “No”!

Here are 3 key elements of missed that will help you get a “Yes!”

Young leaders often have creative ideas and lots of energy! They want to see their ideas come to life; however get frustrated when Management says no due to budget or other resource constraints. So how do you convince them?

Well here it is. Do your research and spend more on the “How”; the “When”; and the “Why” and not just the “What.” What do we mean?

Selling an idea to your Manager is no different than convincing members to buy more products and services. Your idea is the “What”; however to convince leaders, you need to show them the value or the “Why”. They want to know it’s not going to cost too much time or money to implement or the “How”. Finally, timing needs to fit with budget and other strategic priorities or the “When.”

Experienced and successful leaders know that a lot of great ideas fail due to poor planning and poor implementation. So, you need to present the “Why”; “How”; and “When” in order for them to know the idea is more likely to succeed then fail.

Before you bring your idea forward, do your research on the following:

Why you believe the idea will benefit the credit union?

  • Where does it fit within the credit union’s strategic plan?
  • Will it increase revenue?
  • Will it reduce expenses?
  • Will it increase member loyalty so they buy more products from us?
  • Will it increase employee satisfaction?
  • For all of the above, what research have you done to validate this?
  • Has it been successful somewhere else and do you have those results to share?

How will you implement?

  • Who will lead this process?
  • What other resources are required?
  • Is there a proven implementation plan used elsewhere we can learn from?

When is best timing for implementation?

  • When would budget $ be available?
  • When would the resources required for implementation be available?
  • When would it best align with other projects or strategic priorities on the go?

Leaders like to see employees be resourceful so while you may wonder where to find all this information; it is often available by asking a few colleagues for help. Some ideas need very little effort; while others may require a lot of research.  Regardless, these steps will help move your ideas forward. You may learn your idea; while great on the surface; may not make sense today before you even present to your Manager. However, you may realize and help your leadership realize; that your idea is the best strategic initiative to come along in years!  So go for it!!

Doug Jones,
Cornerstone Credit Union

The Importance of Leadership

Leadership is something that anyone can display and is certainly not tied to a specific position or title. Through the years I have spent in the system I have worked with leaders at every level. Teammates often play a large role in leading a team; it is certainly a key to success. Leaders maintain a strong connection to the people they work with and serve. They are genuine and authentic. They have courage to do the right things and not do things right. The importance of leadership is the same in every organization, and leaders share some key skills that set them apart. A leader considers others before themselves.

When it comes to leadership, it encompasses the culture in which your team unit will operate. There is emphasis on the importance of leadership because without it, team directions scatter and expectations are not clear. The direct results of lack of leadership will be that a team or organization moves more slowly and potentially will lose its way. To make a decision is great, but without leadership it will never get the full implementation it needs to be effective.

Leadership is important all the time, but it is most evident a need in times of change. Today, change happens at such a rapid speed that an organization will truly struggle without great leadership. That is likely why leadership is always a hot topic. Being a leader within your organization does not mean that you agree with every decision made. It means that you take the time to understand the why, and that you can understand and articulate that decision within your team. In an organization with good leadership, it is very likely that many are involved in making the decision and therefore understanding across the team comes easier. Leaders look towards others to make great decisions, in turn they rely on others to implement those decisions.

Think about your interactions with others. Are you seen as a leader? You will have to be seen as one before you get paid for it.

Lisa Castle,
Synergy Credit Union

Less than one day left to vote

The idea was simple – create an innovative competition that is designed by young leaders for young leaders. That’s what the Saskatchewan Young Leaders committee discussed earlier this year. We were determined that this could be the start of something good for our credit union system. But with every great idea comes the fear of failure. All of the “what ifs” start to come into play. “What if” we don’t have the time to pull it off this year? “What if” we don’t have the buy-in needed from our peers? “What if” we commit the time to this project and get no submissions. All these “what ifs” and more came into play and we almost didn’t go through with it – the key word being “almost”….

A few months later, and with the help and expertise of Currency, the Sask CU Advance competition was created. SYL spent the time creating the video launch and believing in this competition that holds the potential of driving our young leaders and the Sask CU system forward. We engaged with Executive Management, Saskatchewan Young Leaders, and our National Young Leaders to provide some great articles to show their support in our youth. All we had to do was wait. Wait for our young leaders in our system to step forward. To be encouraged by their CEOs or managers, or by their peers to bring forward their innovative idea to move the system forward. From our perspective and sitting on the sidelines, it was a long wait! But we weren’t discouraged. We believed and knew our young leaders would come forward. The first submission came in, and it didn’t take long after that for more young leaders to step forward to submit their ideas.

We are excited that 20 young leaders came forward with their innovative ideas. On behalf of the Saskatchewan Young Leaders, we congratulate all of our applicants for taking the time to submit, for believing in their ideas, and for supporting our first ever innovation competition. We are very proud of all of you!

Only the top 3 will move on to the finals where their ideas will be presented to the CEO peer group. And there’s less than one day left to vote! If you haven’t voted yet, take the time to read and view these 20 awesome applications. Vote for your favourite. And don’t forget to give kudos to these applicants. They truly deserve it.

So don’t wait. This is your chance to have your voice be heard by voting for your favourite in the Sask CU Advance Competition.

The Saskatchewan Young Leaders strives to empower youth to grow in and for the credit union system. We thank everyone for their support in the success of this competition.

Samantha Larsen ,
Cornerstone Credit Union

Where do mentors find their mentors?

There are many people that I look up to and have contributed to my success. In some cases the mentor relationship was easy to see and other times it just seems to happen. Someone takes you under their wing and helps you to see more of your potential. I feel that leaders surround themselves with other great people that they know can be counted on to aide their success. Over my life and career there have been many people that have had material impact on me: teachers, bosses, family and friends. Each experience we have with others can help us learn more about ourselves and our ability to grow into a better person.

There are three people that do stand out for me. First would be my Dad, he has always shared some amazing life lessons that stick with me and that I repeat to many others often. He taught me the value of hard work, humility in what I expect, and how to be very thankful for all that others do for me. He taught me to keep my commitments I make, and do everything to the best of my ability. He helped shaped my character as a focused, confident individual, who is honest and always strives to be the best I can.

Second is a Lashburn community leader where I grew up and continue to live today. He gave me both the opportunity and encouragement to lead as a teenager and as a young adult, which help me build my confidence and a strong desire to give back to the community that I live and work. His leadership and vision guided me to continue to work as a community leader, to look to find solutions rather than finding more problems and inspire those around you towards a common goal.

Finally my strongest Credit Union mentor, although there have been many, is Synergy’s current CEO Glenn Stang. I directly reported to Glenn for over 10 years and he taught me so much about always doing what is right, being honest and heartfelt in your message, and how to continue to get back up with a big smile on your face when you get knocked down. Glenn taught me how to set a positive example, to always chose a positive mood, and to be consistent and candid in his communications. He provided me feedback so that I could grow and be more effective, even when the message was not positive he could deliver in a manner that you would listen. He taught me to listen carefully to those around you, make everyone part of the decision making process and once a decision was made to move ahead.

I could write many lines about those that have aided in my success, because I have been able to take something from my so many experiences I have had with others. I always want to grow and I spend time internalizing how to get better and that is how others around me have been able to have an impact, because I have been open to allowing them to be. People can only contribute to your success if you allow them to help you and if you are willing to learn from them.

Trevor Beaton,
Synergy Credit Union

Shape Your Future…

It’s encouraging to see the Sask CU Advance reaching out to engage young leaders among our credit union system in Saskatchewan. (Ah, why not…I’ll call it “The Movement”!) In the thirty plus years that I’ve been involved with credit unions in Saskatchewan, I’ve been driven by my personal beliefs in the value of freedom of choice, and that freedom of choice always comes with responsibility attached. These beliefs are important to me, and I’ve always found comfort in the fact that I can see them put into practice daily throughout the credit union system. If we were to give them names they would sound like “voluntary membership” and “member participation.”

I’ve always been inspired by the people (both staff and elected) that I’ve had the privilege to work with and to serve over the years, and by their passion for the credit union model. It’s through their leadership that credit unions have generated member focused innovations in the past. And it will be through the courage of new leaders, those prepared to ask the hard questions like “Why?” and “Why not?”, that we will create the next great wave of member focused innovations. The credit union model works, so long as we get involved and exercise our choice. So… shape your future, vote for young leaders, and take your place in building our stories of “people helping people”.

Keith Nixon
CEO of SaskCentral

If you’re a “not as Young” Leader, read this…

What a fantastic response to Sask CU Advance!  Some fabulous ideas have been shared!

Read (and watch) them…and vote.  It’s hard to pick one, but don’t let that
deter you. This is a great opportunity to recognize some of our best and

But something else occurred to me when I was reading and watching
the applications.  It’s a “not so” secret
tip for all the “not as young” leaders out there…there’s some really, really
good ideas being presented here. There are ideas here that can work in my
credit union – and yours too!

 ♡2010 by Author/Artist. Copying Art is an act of love. Please copy and share. ♡2010 by Author/Artist. Copying Art is an act of love. Please copy and share.

As a senior leader at a credit union, my counterparts
and I are charged with the responsibility of not only leading the day to day
operation but to set future direction to ensure our organization stays relevant
and will be around to serve our members for many more years. On a daily basis, we make decisions, solve
problems and try real hard to keep the ship pointed in the right direction. It’s
not an easy job and sometimes we run out of creative ideas. That’s where Sask CU Advance comes in. There
are some really creative and thoughtful ideas here to solve problems we are all
facing. Read them, watch them and most importantly, use some of them.

 Corvyn Neufeld Corvyn Neufeld

Congratulations Saskatchewan Young Leaders for creating the
idea of Sask CU Advance. You’ve given young leaders from across our great
province the venue to share their ideas and to present themselves.  And congratulations to all the applicants! You’ve
shared your energy, creativity and passion and
you’ve given us some great ideas we can use.

Corvyn Neufeld, Cornerstone Credit Union

It’s time to vote!

Hello Credit Union System!

Sask CU Advance, Saskatchewan’s first competition designed around bringing forward innovative ideas from young leaders in our credit unions has successfully moved through the application phase with a fantastic response! Twenty young leaders stepped forward and submitted their ideas on how we could build our system for members and/or employees.

Have you voted yet?

Now it’s your turn to have your voice heard and engage through voting! We are now entering the voting period which will determine the Top 3 ideas as chosen by the system who will earn some floor time with the CEO group at the Peer Group Meeting in November 2013.

Participating is as easy as 1 – 2 – 3!

  1. Go to Spend some time looking through the 20 submissions. Think like a CEO – if you were a CEO, which idea would you invest resources in?
  2. Fill out the ballot with your name and a legitimate email address. Every legitimate email address may vote once. Then choose the person whose idea you think will help Saskatchewan’s credit unions advance.
  3. Press the Vote button!

Voting is open from October 2nd and closes on October 15th, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.

Sask CU Advance was designed By Young Leaders For Young Leaders, and really has three key goals in mind:

  1. To provide a development opportunity for those who are 35 and under
  2. To build a bridge of communication from young employees to senior leaders
  3. To provide a platform to see and hear ideas that could help drive innovation in our system

Saskatchewan Young Leaders Committee