SAN FRANCISCO (7/1/14)--In command of the room, with a booming-clear voice and confident posture, Steve Farber broached a subject that perhaps the packed house at the first general session of the Credit Union National Association's 2014 America's Credit Union Conference (ACUC) Monday wasn't expecting.
Along with three other principles--generating energy, inspiring audacity and providing proof--creating a culture of love, Farber said, is an absolutely integral component of running a successful business and being an effective leader.
San Mateo CU CEO Barry Jolette, a former chair of the Credit Union National Association, checks in Monday for the 2014 America's Credit Union Conference at the Hilton Hotel Union Square in San Francisco. (CUNA Photo)
Farber took it even a step further than that.
"To say that love has no place in business is just insane," he said. "It's probably one of the most powerful business principles we can tap into."
The first of four keynote speakers headlining this year's ACUC in San Francisco, Farber has built a reputation in the business industry as the "Extreme Leadership Guru," penning several books that have earned acclaim in business circles far and wide.
And in all his time researching and speaking about leadership, he told the crowd, within all of the most prosperous companies and organizations he has worked with, that four-letter word always finds its way into the reason for their success.
His proof? The words of a few the most accomplished business people in the world.
"(I'm) convinced the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did," Farber quoted the late Steve Jobs, who said this after being fired from Apple. "The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do."
"I look into their eyes and try to figure out whether they love the money or if they love the business," read Farber's next slide, quoting Warren Buffett, famed billionaire investor. "If they don't love the business, I can't put my money into it."
Perhaps this discovery, that love is so inherent to the success of a business, is the reason why Farber's Extreme Leadership Institute has adopted the credo "Doing what you love in the service of people who love what you do."
Beyond meeting customer, or member satisfaction, which Farber describes as only a baseline accomplishment, getting members to love you and the services your organization provides is the key to really making an impact.
"(It's) serving them in a way that's so significant that what happens, the result that we get, the response that we get is that they love us back," Farber said.
The following days of the conference bring many more interesting and enlightening events, including three more keynote speakers: Simon Sinek, who speaks today about leadership; Amber MacArthur, a digital media guru who will speak Wednesday; and Marcus Luttrell, who will tell a harrowing story Thursday of his time as a U.S. Navy Seal.
In addition to the speakers, the conference rolls on over the next few days with informational events such as the much anticipated risk-based capital session today, and discovery sessions such as "How to Create Killer Campaigns for Young Adults" and "Winning with Hispanics" tomorrow.
Every day brings a vendor exhibit "Open Hall" and valuable time set aside for networking.
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