10 Things To Consider During A Change In Leadership

Over the past couple of weeks, you eavesdropped on a conversation between myself and a credit union CEO, Thad Angelle. Thad told us what he did to make the internal culture at his credit union strong and even gave you a good book recommendation! But if you don't have time to sit down and read "Thank God Its Monday" and you want some action items to put to action, we have some for you.


1. Focus first on shoring up your internal culture and earning the trust of your staff.

2. Foster collaboration among leadership and staff at all levels to sync up the team.

3. As the leader, find a principle or philosophy you can personally champion – and then live it.

4. Acknowledge staff uncertainty about what change means to them. So set high expectations for the organization but also work to calm the fears of the individuals.

5. Take a break from the C- suite and visit the front lines often.

6. Address challenges swiftly, rationally, realistically and with confidence.

7. Acknowledge fall out with any change in leadership. Use the opportunity to build the right team.

8. Embrace your leadership style. Be who you are, but seek ways to integrate that style with as little disruption as possible.

9. Focus on one manageable initiative at a time. Complete it and move on to the next opportunity.

10. When you reach the top, make sure you’re not alone. You can’t do it all on your own.

How Internal Culture Affects MCT's Bottom Line

Have you been enjoying the conversation so far? Don’t worry, it doesn’t stop here…


People now make better decisions. We’re not going back to fix things. Our quality of work is better. There’s a new mindset that if it’s not great, it’s not good enough. Now, we hold each other to a level of accountability. Looking at the numbers, we’re pacing to meet our year-end income goal. While consumer loans outstanding declined for almost five years in a row, the first quarter of the year we grew consumer loans by $3 million.

This was unbelievable. Managers set more aggressive goals and in the first quarter every branch manager met them. Wow. But the biggest result is the unity within the executive team, the encouragement all around, and a staff believing in themselves, doing the right thing. That’s building member loyalty. Employee turnover was a revolving door in the past, but now that door has slammed shut.


There was once a time in my career when I might try to bulldoze over people. I got where I wanted to go, but found that I was alone. Today I care about more than just people’s work. I care about them personally. So now, the most important thing is making the right decisions together when we are faced with a challenge. Staying ahead of the curve like with regulatory changes that are coming along every day, week and month creates a lot of pain. What may be the case today, may not be tomorrow – but our culture will not change. 


MCT is really walking our talk. But no one outside knows it, yet. And the message has got to get out to the people. If we can get the word out, I can’t believe anyone wouldn’t want to do business with us.

So that was MCT’s story… what’s yours? Is your credit union undergoing a change in leadership? Wondering what next steps to take?  Tune in next week for 10 Things to consider during a change in leadership.