The Essence of Leadership

We have all heard the question ‘What makes a good leader?’ many times in our lives. There are always a few common answers such as dedicated, loyal, intelligent and driven, among others. All of these are good and certainly valuable to a leader, but I believe there is one dominant trait that all leaders need to have if they want to succeed in leading others. Trust.

Colin Powell knows a thing or two about Leadership. He was the first African-American to be Secretary of State and was the youngest ever Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with the US Government.

I encourage you to take a moment to watch this quick video about Mr. Powell’s experiences with trust and leadership. Then take a moment to think about your life and how there may be someone designated as a ‘leader’ because of their position or role, but if you don’t trust them, would you really ever go that extra mile for him/her? Think about the leaders in your life that you do trust – having trust in those leaders makes you more willing to work a little harder, give a little more, and follow them around the next corner even when the going gets tough.

Darren Enns

What does it mean to be a member of the SYL Community?

  • Your peers see you as an honest, trustworthy and committed team member. You look at the positive things in life and are focused as winning as a group.
  • Your leader sees you as being committed to action and oriented towards the solutions by embracing change and supporting your team members through the change.
  • Your members see you as passionate about strengthening the credit union system and the member experience.
  • Your friends see you as supportive, compassionate and fun-loving.
  • You see yourself as someone who supports the cooperative values of being part of the credit union system. You are willing to take risks and are focused on improving yourself personally and professionally.

If this is you, sign up to be part of the SYL Community today! If you are already a member of the SYL Community, see the link below to update your information. If you know other young leaders in the CU System in Saskatchewan, encourage them to join the Community as well!

Click here to sign up or update your information!

Thank you to all of our Sponsors!

Thank you to our wonderful Credit Union Sponsors, without who we wouldn’t be able to engage the young leader community in Saskatchewan.

#partnerships #collaboration SYL and CUMA

Your SYL Committee was fortunate to be invited to present at CUMA’s regional meetings in September. Thank you to CUMA for the opportunity!

#partnerships #collaboration

Community Member Blog Opportunity!

Check out our website for the latest blog, written by one of our fabulous Community members, Ashley Hamilton from Prairie Centre CU! We love Ashley’s passion and the idea of having our Community members contribute to the monthly blogs to share their insights and experience. Here’s your chance to share your story! If you have something you’d like us to share, send it to us!

All submissions will be considered. Submissions will be accepted by email. We’d love to hear from you!

Upcoming Virtual Learning Session


Stay Tuned!

Upcoming Virtual Learning Session with the fabulous Janet Lee on November 23, 2016!

Janet presented on the topic of “Personal Branding” at our Retreat in August and helped us all to learn more about our core values and our strengths and how to utilize them to benefit us in our personal and professional lives. Weren’t able to attend the Retreat?! This session will still prove valuable for you!

Sign up today!

SYL 2017 Funding


The SYL Committee has prepared the 2017 Business Plan and a request for funding was submitted to all the Credit Unions in July, with a request for response by November 15th. We have received responses and valuable comments from several CU’s already! Thank you for your continued support!

SYL 2016 Retreat Recap

The 1st ever SYL Personal Branding Retreat was held August 23rd & 24th at Shekinah Retreat Center. 44 young leaders from across the system participated in the day and a half event. Jamal Tekleweld, from the Saskatchewan Cooperative Association, started Day 1 with a high energy presentation. He focused on the 7 Cooperative Principles and helped the attendees to re-connect to their cooperative roots. Jamal inspired the audience to be proud of the things that separate Credit Unions from the banks. “Jamal breathed life and excitement into it and I learned a lot about Co-operatives”


Tara McKeown, from Conexus CU, lead a conversation around ‘Navigating Your Career’. She spoke very openly about her personal career path and provided the group with valuable advice. She stressed the importance of keeping your nose clean and using the 3M rule: If you are not ok with your Mom, your Mentor, or the Media seeing your social media posts or your actions, you should probably think twice about posting it. She also stressed the importance of being yourself and she challenged the group to define what success would mean to each one of us. “Respect the relationship of power; Respect the power of relationships” 

Neil Cooper of Conexus CU presented the third session titled “Career & Succession Planning” that he adapted to include “Personal Development & Living Your Passions”. Neil also shared his personal journey with the group and challenged the attendees to evaluate themselves, re-discover core values, define success and seek real time feedback, in order to continue to grow. He also encouraged the young leaders to “get comfortable being uncomfortable”.

Toward the end of day 1, Jamal lead an activity called Diversity Headbands where observers witnessed the power of labeling/ stereotyping when the participants were forced to interact with a partner, not knowing what ‘label’ they were wearing. Conversations were uncomfortable and it was a reminder to treat each other with equality.

On Day 2, Janet Lee from the Story Co facilitated the Personal Branding Workshop. Attendees worked their way through the “My Big Brave Personal Brand” workbook in order to define a tagline. A single statement that would encompass the highest and most unique value each individual has to offer. A variety of activities accompanied the workbook. Each attendee completed a Fascinate Assessment prior to attending, and received a report which outlined their ‘Fascination Advantages’ and personalized ‘Archetype’. Solutions to system challenges were discussed in breakout sessions and an activity took place where each attendee received one word descriptions of how they are seen by their peers. The self-evaluation accompanied by the activities and peer involvement led each attendee to discovering the value they have to offer their organization and other aspects of their life.

Thank you to all of the Retreat Sponsors!

Concentra Financial

Calidon Equipment Leasing
Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation
Olive Waller Zinkhan & Waller LLP


Thank you also to our door prize donors: First Canadian Title, National Young Leaders Committee, Prairie Sun Brewery, Genworth, Golden Opportunities, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Prairie Proud, CCUA, Crossroads CU and SaskCentral

SYL 2017 Funding The SYL Committee has prepared the 2017 Business Plan and a request for funding was submitted to all the Credit Unions in July, with a request for response by November 15th. We have received responses and valuable comments from several CU’s already! Thank you for your continued support!

We are Recruiting New Committee Members!

“Leaders are those people who both inspire towards dreams but also who put first the thriving of their team – not as an afterthought, but as a priority” Josh Noble, Unity CU

Calling all young leaders! The SYL Committee is recruiting new committee members for 2 year terms starting January 2017. If you are passionate about your career, the credit union system, our values and beliefs and want to engage in meaningful discussions surrounding the challenges and opportunities and play an active role in providing solutions, then we want you! The application process will open October 24th, watch the CUniverse and the information will be sent out to the SYL Community via email.