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Filene advises young pros on leadership careers
MADISON, Wis. (11/14/12)--A new report from the Filene Research Institute offers advice for credit unions seeking to identify, encourage and promote future leaders.

The report, "Young Professional Leadership and Career Development in North American Credit Unions," provides a step-by-step guide for concerned leaders, human resources professionals, or young strivers to fill in the blanks they feel they are missing in their professional development. It is built on three case studies from career development networks of three credit unions and checklists that encourage action.

The report advises that to be most effective, personal goals must align with credit union goals. If they don't, then even well-intentioned projects will not likely attract the attention or support they need.

Rising leadership groups are among the ways today's young credit union leaders are aligning professional development with their credit unions' strategic goals, according to the report.

The report offers advice for forming a leadership group, including:

  • Assess what's out there. Don't reinvent the wheel if adding to, or simply joining, an ongoing initiative will do. Also, evaluate the human resources and external business environments into which the credit union wants to introduce the group.
  • Establish a goal. Clearly define, in as few statements as possible, what the group seeks to accomplish.
  • Get a few people on board. Build relationships with peers and superiors that can help sustain the initiative.
  • Find a sponsor. A current leader who is interested in the project and has the clout to sustain it is invaluable.
  • Spread the word. Formal and informal channels are key, and a small passionate group can be better than a diffuse cluster.
  • Build partnerships. Look for internal and external partnerships to help the group maintain momentum and grow.
  • Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate. Use initial goals as a guide, but don't be afraid to switch, narrow, or expand the group's focus.
To download the report, use the link.
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