Recently four members of YMC’s development team attended Chris LoCurto’s Next Level Leadership event. Over the course of three days, we learned about our personality styles, how to resolve conflict, how to gain mental strength and how to achieve greater productivity. But one thing that wasn’t in the workbook still emerged with clarity for me: We must choose to lead.
It’s perhaps the greatest variable in any organization. The mentality that something is above or below one’s paygrade can stifle decision making, creativity and progress. As LoCurto puts it, “The key to successful accountability is finding people who both challenge and inspire you.”
This isn’t about top-down vs. bottom-up management. When we look at things through such a narrow lens, it’s easy to pass the buck. We lower our standards because someone else will take care of it. Instead, when an entire organization takes ownership – with competition and wanting to do things better – a culture grows.
You don’t have to have a special leadership title to rise to the occasion. The importance of accountability is not just about completing tasks. It’s about stepping up to do the right thing without being asked. We choose to ask tough questions, or not. We choose to take risks, or not. We choose to lead… or not.
Recently I watched a playoff game between the Houston Rockets and the San Antonio Spurs. Manu Ginóbili, 39, the second oldest player in the NBA, completed a drive with 34.5 seconds left to tie the game and force overtime. In overtime, he blocked James Harden – the second leading scorer in the NBA – at the buzzer to save the win for the Spurs, 110-107.
If leadership was defined by points scored, Ginóbili shouldn’t have been on the court. He averages just 5 points per game, good for eighth on the team. For perspective, Harden had a triple-double, but he also had nine turnovers.
With the recent release of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, we made some fun comparisons while at the Next Level Leadership event. For our development team, one could make the case for Bo McDonald as Star-Lord, Haley Kennedy as Rocket Raccoon, Meg Robertson as Gamora and myself... I am Groot (more of the old Groot than baby Groot).
Like the heroes of Guardians of the Galaxy, our individual personality and values are distinctly different. And yes, life at YMC can be like an epic space soap opera at times. In the end, we still find a way to “save the day.”
How? By serving. Serving our clients. Serving our team. Serving one another.
There are always moments where we can excel and falter in accountability. Within your community financial institution, from the C-suite to the loan department to your member service representatives, when no one is looking, do they do what’s right? Do you have a culture that encourages them to be alert and aware and to be proactive instead of reactive?
Remember this: control is an illusion. Develop a culture of servant leadership and take your organization to the next level.
Frank Allgood has more than 15 years of experience in every facet of public information and marketing communications. As Relationships Development Leader for Your Marketing Co., he is responsible for strategic brand experiences and marketing initiatives for credit unions and community banks across the country. For branding or rebranding projects, call 864.326.8740 or email email@example.com.