Browse by Type

Report #413 | | Members | Sign In

Sponsoring the Credit Union Leaders of Tomorrow

Sponsor leadership continues to be a development mechanism for our CEOs of tomorrow. Sponsorship benefits all parties involved. The protégé has a lot to gain, but so do the sponsor and the credit union.

  • Manny Nat Research Associate at Filene Research Institute

Executive Summary

Becoming an effective leader takes years of perseverance, patience, and practice. It’s a continuous process of trial and error. As a quality or trait, leadership is a culmination of distinct actions that build up over time. One of those actions is seeking the sponsorship of other proven leaders.

The credit union system is small enough that several organizations have become leadership forges, where a farsighted sponsor CEO has consistently trained, promoted, and prepared multiple leaders who have gone on to become CEOs themselves.

People commonly confuse sponsorship with mentorship—and for good reason. Both mentors and sponsors are a source of career guidance for junior- to senior- level talent. However, there’s a clear distinction between the two: Mentorship tends to focus on skill development and can take place at any level in an organization, while sponsorship tends to focus on career development of current senior leaders.

In its simplest form, the sponsor–protégé relationship is beneficial for both parties, with sponsor CEOs being afforded an opportunity to cultivate talent and protégés receiving invaluable on-the-ground experience. For any aspiring credit union CEO, having an early- career sponsor will open doors and, more importantly, create the framework for effective leadership.

Related Content

  • Report #552 | Members

    Case Study on Analytics Readiness as a Precursor to Creating Value

    For credit unions, the ability to analyze data—particularly predictive data analytics or using data to forecast future outcomes—is a critical component of a successful digital transformation. A case study of Kinecta Federal Credit Union presents a road map for how credit unions can leverage data analytics to build a data-driven culture and produce desired business outcomes.

  • Report #544 |

    High-Tech and High-Touch: Relationship Banking in a Digital World

    • Steve Gotz
    • Janina Lieser

    By prioritizing their strength in building member relationships, credit unions can differentiate from competitors in the digital financial services market while strengthening their commitment to the credit union value proposition.

  • Report #533 | Members

    Who Uses Credit Unions? Fifth Edition

    • Salma Mohammad Ali

    Filene reviews credit union use across US groups and identifies opportunities for credit unions to grow membership among three: Hispanic households, the self-employed, and people without a high school degree.