Young Professional Leadership
and Career Development in
North American Credit Unions
Political Liaison and Asset Analyst
Evangelical Christian Credit Union
Foreword by James R. Detert
Progress is the
constant replacing of
the best there is with
something still better!
— Edward A. Filene
The Filene Research Institute provides credit
unions with research, future-focused thinking,
and practical innovations to enable them to
prosper today while preparing for tomorrow’s
The name of the Institute honors Edward A. Filene, founder of the
Filene’s Department Store chain, who is considered the father of the
United States credit union system.
Since the Filene Research Institute’s inception in 1989, this 501(c)(3)
not-for-profit institute has collaborated with over 100 academic
institutions and credit union system partners to publish hundreds of
research studies. The entire research and innovation library is available
online at filene.org.
Copyright © 2012 by Filene Research Institute. All rights reserved.
Printed in U.S.A.
Filene would like to thank CUNA Mutual Group for its generous
support of the Cooperative Trust. This innovation brief is just one
result of CUNA Mutual’s commitment
to the future of credit unions.
A deep debt of gratitude is owed to
the Cooperative Trust (formerly the
Crash Network), a national network of young credit union professionals
devoted to the preparation of the next generation of credit
union leaders. Though the idea and passion for this project were
mine, the Cooperative Trust provided the networking opportunities
necessary to identify willing and meaningful contributors for the
case studies as well as the accountability necessary to push the project
Foremost, I am grateful for the contributions of Devin Selte, my
Canadian counterpart from Servus Credit Union, headquartered in
Edmonton, Alberta. Devin’s success with the Servus Young Leaders
Network (SYLN) has been so phenomenal that it has received
international attention. Devin himself has been recognized as the
2011 Credit Union Executive Society (CUES) Next Top Credit
Union Executive award winner and one of the 12 Credit Union
Times Trailblazers 40 Below award winners for 2011, in recognition
of his success with the SYLN. Devin has been privileged to travel to
Europe and Australia to participate in conferences related to credit
union emerging leadership.
Second, I would like to thank Aaron Burnham for providing information
related to the leadership training program at Credit Union of
Southern California (CU SoCal). Aaron’s willingness to provide policies
and procedures from CU SoCal’s program, as well as describing
his personal experience in the program, was instrumental to developing
that case study.
Finally, I was pleased to have the privilege of working alongside Brian
Stearns as he provided feedback and edits on the various working
drafts of this brief. Brian’s passion for developing the qualities of
success in his coworkers and his desire to create a collaborative team
among the up-and- coming leadership at his credit union is a credit
to his servant’s heart. Brian has extensive experience in leadership
through academic, community service, and church organizations and
has worked to bring his experience from these endeavors to a leadership
program within Farmers Insurance Group FCU.
by James R. Detert,
In this brief, Matt Weidler describes several efforts to build career
development networks for aspiring leaders. The brief raises a number
of interesting questions for current credit union leaders about
their talent pipeline, such as why these efforts are largely seen as the
primary responsibility of the individual rather than the organization
itself. After all, one need not look far or hard to find examples of
once-venerated organizations now on the brink of failure (or actually
out of business) because the successes created by one generation of
leadership were not sustained by the next generation. Thus, just as it
would seem irresponsible for an organization to hope its strategy or
business systems would develop themselves without serious attention
and investment from top management, it should also seem irresponsible
to do relatively little to develop the organization’s future leaders.
Indeed, for this reason, many of the world’s most successful organizations
devote entire staffs, buildings, and millions of dollars annually
to internal leadership development. Apple University, GE’s Leadership
Development Center, and Infosys’s Leadership Institute are
prominent examples of how seriously some of the world’s great companies
take this process. Thus, it is disheartening to read that many
credit union leaders may feel that leadership development is primarily
something people should do for themselves. With this attitude, it
won’t be surprising if many who do develop themselves primarily on
their own time and dime end up leaving the credit union industry
for more lucrative career opportunities elsewhere. (It’s well known in
business schools, for example, that when employers pay for a good
portion of executive MBA students’ tuition, those graduates tend
to stick with their company for some time; when students pay their
own way, their new credential is often used to seek employment elsewhere.)
So, my first observation about Weidler’s brief is that rather
than be comforted by the initiative shown by young professionals in
their industry, senior credit union leaders should be alarmed because
it seems to indicate a critical gap in the human resource function of
the credit unions themselves.
A second observation relates to what academics call “issue selling”—
that is, the process of presenting ideas to managers one or more levels
higher up in the hopes of gaining attention, commitment, and/or
resources. As Weidler correctly points out, when career development
networks seek to gain support from their credit union, they would
be wise to consider aspects of the firm’s culture and the attitudes of
key personnel who must be sold on the investment in such networks.
Here are a couple of important considerations:
• Should you sell the importance of this network to the credit
union using primarily an instrumental/economic frame or a
normative/cultural frame The former would involve explaining
the expected financial benefits that investing in this network
could provide, while the latter would prioritize how investing in
this network is consistent with (and maybe even required by) the
credit union’s core principles.
• Should the importance of the network be presented as pursuing
an opportunity or dealing with a threat to the credit union
The former frame would excite growth-oriented senior managers
while the latter might work better for steward-type managers who
might be more swayed by the fear of what might happen if the
talent pipeline isn’t appropriately nurtured.
There are many other considerations to keep in mind when attempting
to sell senior management on an investment in a career development
network, such as how scripted or formulaic the pitch should
be and what the right venue and right timing for pitching the idea
might be. Sellers also want to consider what is known about the
target managers that might be useful in selling them the idea: Do
you know anything about their professional motives that might make
them amenable to supporting you Or do you know anything about
their personal lives that would warm them up to your proposal For
example, as Weidler alludes to, it might be important to consider
how the HR professionals responsible for leadership selection or
development at the credit union could see this as a threat to their
own role and, thus, how to frame the matter as something that will
be a “win” for them professionally, too.
I also found myself wondering about the overall objectives of these
networks, and how the programs may or may not currently be best
suited to meet those objectives. Are the primary goals related to
personal support and motivation Knowledge attainment To obtain
key experiences To find strong mentors Getting clear about these
objectives is critical because it’s hard to constitute career development
networks with the right people and the right activities without
answering these questions. For example, if your goal is to support
and motivate would-be credit union leaders, then it may make sense
to have membership be fairly homogeneous—aspiring leaders who
know and like one another, are at a similar career stage, and so forth.
But if the goal is to give would-be leaders actual developmental
opportunities, with guidance, then it seems critical to constitute the
group somewhat differently. From my perspective, one of the critical
aspects of leadership development that is not described as a key part
of the programs mentioned is actual experience undertaking a leadership
challenge. Of course, this is precisely why cooperation from
credit union senior leadership is needed, but the importance of this
cannot be overlooked. If you really want people to develop leadership
capability, they have to lead. And ideally they’ll lead in a way that
involves a rigorous process of assessment, feedback, and mentoring.
Reading leadership theory and biographies, hearing from other leaders,
and even having a mentor are necessary. But they’re insufficient.
Career development networks will be most successful when they
partner with organizations that can offer their members chances to
Finally, I urge those developing career development networks to
become as clear as possible about their answer to the “what’s in it for
me” (WIFM) question. Even if you get support from credit union
management, failure to have a clear answer for employees who wonder
what’s in it for them will cause you to flounder. Weidler’s brief
notes that in one of the programs, only one qualified supervisor signed
up in the first year, which suggests that the WIFM question hadn’t
been sufficiently addressed. In my experience, the simple reality is
that the people whom organizations most want to develop are those
who are already the busiest. And organizations often add responsibilities
without taking any away. So, if you’re already a busy supervisor
and you’re not incredibly clear on what you might gain—personally
or professionally—from a new career development network, it’s not
surprising that what has to get done will trump what might be useful
for your future. This brings us back to where I started—the importance
of senior credit union leaders understanding the value of talent
development and being willing to put some real skin into the game.
After all they are the ones who can decide this is important enough
to do on company time.
Executive Summary and Commentary
by Ben Rogers,
“The cemeteries are full of indispensable men.” Variously attributed
to French general Charles de Gaulle or (more plausibly) to American
writer Elbert Hubbard, the phrase is a mordant reminder that, in
business as in life, every leader will move along. The best will make
sure somebody is ready to replace them.
The Filene report Employee Voice and (Missed) Opportunities in Credit
Unions (2010) shows that there are far too many ideas floating
around in credit unions that leaders and managers never even hear.
In that study of 11 credit unions and thousands of employees, fully
61% of workers reported having at least one business improvement
idea that they never shared with decision makers. Many of those
ideas were, no doubt, bad; but a few of them were certainly gems.
And as credit unions constantly replace their workforces with new or
young employees, those employees bring human capital in the form
of energy and ideas.
Hiring employees, training employees, and even working side by side
with employees are often just precursors on the path toward getting
access to those ideas and setting up those employees to be the next
generation of leaders.
What Is the Research About
This innovation brief responds to a question often asked by those
on the bottom or middle rungs of the credit union ladder: How do I
become a leader here The contributors cited here acknowledge that
they may not be ready for the big job tomorrow, but they still want
to make progress in the meantime. They want the next rungs to be
accessible, and if those rungs are not accessible, they are willing to
work until they are.
But the research is more than a description. It provides a step-bystep
guide for concerned leaders, HR professionals, or young strivers
themselves to build the steps they feel are missing. And rather than
focus on wholesale reinvention, it encourages a measured approach
that calls for acknowledging and joining existing programs if they are
already in place. But above all, the three case studies and checklists
encourage action, which is a direct outgrowth of the Cooperative
Trust (formerly the Crash Network), which helps up-and- coming
credit union leaders focus on action and creation and ways to make
What Are the Credit Union
Like any company, credit unions must build ways to identify,
encourage, and promote future leaders. But the mandate may be particularly
strong at credit unions, whose unique structure and often
low profile in the hiring market can make it hard to get and keep the
leaders they need.
One of the clearest takeaways is that passion is not enough. Wanting
to make a difference and develop professionally are commendable
but incomplete. This brief argues for aspiring leaders to learn
an early leadership lesson: To be most effective, personal goals must
align with company goals. If they don’t, then even well- intentioned
projects will probably not attract the attention or support they need.
The author condenses excellent advice into several steps for anyone
looking to form a professional development or rising leadership
1. Assess what’s out there. Don’t reinvent the wheel if adding to, or
simply joining, an ongoing initiative will do. Also, evaluate the
HR and external business environments into which you want to
introduce the group.
2. Establish a goal. Clearly define, in as few statements as possible,
what you would like the group to accomplish.
3. Get a few people on board. Build relationships with peers and
superiors that can help sustain the initiative.
4. Get a sponsor. A current leader who is interested in the project
and has the clout to sustain it is invaluable.
5. Spread the word. Formal and informal channels are key, and a
small passionate group can be better than a diffuse cluster.
6. Build partnerships. Once you’ve started, look for internal and
external partnerships to help you maintain momentum and grow.
7. Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate. Use your initial goals as a guide stick,
but don’t be afraid to switch, narrow, or expand your focus as the
group rolls along.
Not only are these seven steps important, but completing them in
order is important, too. The three case studies prove that where organizers
fell short, it was often because they ignored a step or simply
hurried their enthusiasm into the later steps too soon.
Great individuals may be dispensable, but great leaders are always in
demand. Use this brief to help grow them at your credit union.
About the Authors
Matt Weidler has worked in the credit union system for seven years,
all of that time with Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU) in
Brea, California. At ECCU, he has served as the credit union’s political
liaison for five years in addition to his role in the IT department.
Matt has received several distinctions in the industry, including being
the inaugural winner of CO-OP Financial Services’ THiNK Prize
and being selected as one of the Credit Union Times Trailblazers
40 Below Award winners for 2011.
Matt has a master’s degree in political science from California State
James R. Detert
James R. Detert is an associate professor of management at Cornell
University. Professor Detert’s research focuses on three topics: (1) the
antecedents, processes, and outcomes of improvement-oriented voice
from subordinates to authorities in work organizations, (2) leadership
processes, behaviors, and outcomes, and (3) ethical decision
making and behavior, particularly the sociocognitive processes and
mechanisms of moral disengagement. His research has appeared in
the Academy of Management Journal, the Academy of Management
Review, the Journal of Applied Psychology, Organization Science, and
the Harvard Business Review. Detert received an MA in sociology and
a PhD in organizational behavior from Harvard University. He also
holds an MBA from the University of Minnesota and a BBA from
the University of Wisconsin.
Because of the small number of case studies currently available, the
wide difference in the implementation of programs, and the nature
of human systems and organizations, it just isn’t possible to provide
a definitive method for establishing a career development program
in any situation. Instead, this brief attempts to outline some general
guidelines based on similar experiences and inferences about how
the characteristics of individuals, credit union cultures, and business
constraints affect the creation of young leadership programs.
The cases studied here suggest that the number one factor in the successful
implementation of a career development program is the existence
of a passionate sponsor. While that seems rather obvious, it’s
worth pointing out for one very important reason: The intentionality
that is required in sacrificing short-term goals for long-term development
means that career development does not happen by accident.
Left on autopilot, organizations and managers will usually respond to
the most pressing concerns of the day in order to make sure the business
continues to function. According to research by Hay/McBer, the
coaching style of leadership, though one of the most important styles
for developing healthy organizations, is the least commonly used of
the six styles their research identified. 1
If you are in upper management or HR, I recommend that you consider
the efforts of Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal)
in the development of its young leaders. The investments it is making
do not cost very much, and the program is mostly self- directed
by participants. CU SoCal is uniquely preparing its future leaders for
working not just in the credit union system but specifically within
their credit union’s culture and structure. Your credit union can easily
adapt CU SoCal’s program to your requirements and begin training
high- potential employees in very little time.
If you aren’t in management and you’re reading this brief, then it’s
time for you to assume the role of the passionate career development
program sponsor for your credit union. Waiting around for someone
else to do it won’t reflect well on your leadership potential.
In the next section you’ll find a checklist that will guide you through
the detailed steps of beginning a healthy career development network
(or if you prefer, a young leaders network). This checklist
was designed in consideration of the experiences of our case study
contributors. The remainder of this section is devoted to a high-level
discussion of the strategies in implementing a career development
Every group needs a purpose. What we find in comparing the launch
of ECCU’s Career Development Network (CDN) with the Servus
Young Leaders Network (SYLN) is that defining a clear mission and
vision for the group, before trying to build excitement and momentum,
speeds up implementation and focuses the group on activities
that support its goals. Your peers who join the group will expect
the activities you orchestrate to reinforce the group’s goals, and they
will not continue to participate if they don’t feel you are successfully
achieving those goals.
Therefore, your first action should be to clearly define, in as few
statements as possible, what you would like the group to accomplish.
Consider, as an example, the CDN’s three organizational goals:
• Provide valuable career development opportunities.
• Encourage peer networking.
• Promote ground-up communication.
While these goals are broad enough to include a great number of
meaningful activities, they are specific enough to determine whether
an activity truly supports the group’s mission, and they provide a
baseline for establishing whether the group is living up to its purpose.
After determining what the goals for the group are, evaluate the climate
in which you want to introduce the group. The two main areas
of consideration here are the credit union’s management culture and
When gauging your credit union’s management culture, consider
Robert R. Blake and Jane Mouton’s managerial grid, which analyzes
management’s concern for production
against its concern for
After you’ve determined a vision and decided how (or whether)
people. 2 A management team
to engage your credit union’s management for support, it is
overly concerned with production,
for instance, is unlikely to
important that you begin to build the relationships that will
help you through the initial uncertainty of forming a career
respond positively to a recommendation
spend working hours improving
their career potential. On the other hand, a management team more
concerned with people than production is likely going to want to
participate actively with the group.
Another important aspect of the management culture is your HR
department’s aversion to risk. If your HR department is risk-averse,
individuals from this department will likely want to meet with you
to discuss how you will ensure that labor laws aren’t violated. They
may even offer advice on these subjects or apply pressure for you to
consider dropping the idea. On the other hand, if your credit union’s
HR department has a larger risk appetite, they may prove to be your
biggest proponent when asking for corporate resources. Be respectful
of the department’s needs and understand that career development
is often considered the HR department’s responsibility by the credit
Next, consider the business environment. If your organization is
understaffed or facing difficult times, it is unlikely that management
will support the group with on-the-clock meetings or financial
support. This does not mean that management will not support you
through its participation, but the realities of the business might not
make it possible for management to help you in other ways.
After you’ve determined a vision and decided how (or whether) to
engage your credit union’s management for support, it is important
that you begin to build the relationships that will help you through
the initial uncertainty of forming a career development network.
For this, I recommend that you identify a mentor you can go to for
guidance, as well as at least three peers who can serve alongside you
in leadership roles to help make activities happen.
For the mentor role, make sure the person you choose has a passion
for developing future leaders, has several years of experience in a
management position at your credit union, and is willing to let you
bounce ideas off him or her regularly. Your mentor can serve as the
go-to person when you run into hurdles or if you’re not sure what
the next move should be.
Whatever you decide to do, do it sooner rather than later. As was true with our case studies, there is
likely a core group of motivated young professionals at your credit union just waiting and hoping
for an opportunity to come along.
For your peer leaders, ensure that they have the time to commit to
the work that you will need them to do, are willing to sacrifice some
of their time to help their peers, and are enthusiastic about career
development. Since you will be working with this team a lot, be
sure that the individuals you choose have complementary skills and
personalities. Additionally, these individuals must be willing to work
through any conflicts that exist or may arise between you.
Finally, it’s important that you have a strong launch for your program.
Your first event should build excitement and momentum that
will carry your group through the uncertain few months of its initial
existence. Utilize resources at your organization, like highly visible
executives, to attract attendees, and even consider giveaways to draw
people in. For the first meeting, be sure to place a strong emphasis
on the new group’s mission and vision, and use appropriate icebreakers
to facilitate networking among members who have never met
Figure 1: Checklist for Starting a Peer Network
These steps are meant to be followed in the order they are listed to ensure effective results. This list has been designed to include
application of the knowledge gathered from the contributing case studies. They apply generally to young leaders seeking to implement a
career development program at their credit union.
Research what groups and programs already exist to serve credit union professionals like you.
Determine whether any of these programs satisfies your needs without creating your own group.
If you decide that something new is needed, establish the values that you would like this group to have, as well as the general goals
you would like it to accomplish.
Consider a few ways in which these goals can be exhibited through specific actions for group members in order to clarify your vision
for the group (e.g., lunch-and-learns, off-site networking, etc.).
Informally survey a small group of peers to determine whether others are interested in such a group.
Find an experienced mentor who can provide objective feedback about your ideas and help you adapt the concepts presented here
to your credit union’s culture.
In consultation with your mentor, assess how your credit union and its management team will likely respond to your proposal for a
career development program given its leadership style and business constraints.
If advisable, seek sponsorship from the credit union to ensure legitimacy and possibly obtain additional resources.
Find a core group of zealous supporters among your peers to build a leadership team.
With the newly formed leadership team, reassess the goals and values you’ve outlined for the group to ensure that there is
agreement on their importance and adequacy.
Assign responsibilities among leadership team members and define a few important group norms and expectations to ensure the
proper functioning of the group.
Decide among the leadership team a specific series of activities that the group will undertake in order to achieve its goals.
Plan a special kick-off event for the group to build up energy among your target audience (invite a special guest who will draw
participants, and consider providing free food, beverages, and/or prizes).
Begin spreading the word and building momentum for the group and its inaugural event throughout all of the credit union’s popular
communication channels, including staff meetings, e-mail, and areas for public notice.
Each member of the leadership team should extend personal invitations to the people they would like to see join the program in
order to provide additional encouragement to participate.
Build partnerships throughout the credit union and your community with individuals and groups that can influence (positively or
negatively) the success of the group.
As the program matures and you begin to receive feedback from attendees, assess whether more can be done to achieve your
Note: Throughout the process you should evaluate the group’s activities to identify what works well and what needs improvement.
Whatever you decide to do, do it sooner rather than later. As was true
with our case studies, there is likely a core group of motivated young
professionals at your credit union just waiting and hoping for an
opportunity to come along. This brief will help you build a foundation
Credit Union Case Studies
This brief introduces you to the young professional leadership and
career development networks of three separate credit unions: Servus
Credit Union, Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal),
and Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU).
Each of these credit unions is distinct in its structure and mission,
and before diving into the case studies, some background
information on each of the credit unions is appropriate. (The data
and statistics mentioned here are valid as of December 2011.)
Servus Credit Union is the largest credit union in Canada’s province
of Alberta. With 390,000 members across 62 communities, about
2,300 employees, over 100 locations, and $11 billion (B) CAD in
assets under management, Servus is a giant among credit unions. Servus
is a community- based credit union helping residents of Alberta
since 1938. The credit union defines its two guiding principles as
community building and helping people.
CU SoCal is also a community- based credit union, serving the San
Gabriel Valley and Orange County. CU SoCal began in 1954 as a
credit union serving members of the educational community. However,
the credit union experienced rapid growth during the financial
deregulation that occurred in the 1980s and changed its field of
membership to include all residents of Whittier. The credit union
has since expanded further and now has over 100 employees serving
3 counties, with a total of more than 41,000 members, 8 branches,
and $589 million (M) in assets. CU SoCal is a state- chartered credit
ECCU is also state chartered but differs from the previous two credit
unions in that it is not community based. Instead, ECCU serves
individuals and ministries across the globe that share the common
bond of being evangelical Christians. ECCU was formed in 1984
from the merger of the Conservative Baptist Credit Union (founded
in 1964) and the Association of Christian Schools International
Credit Union (founded in 1966). The resulting $43M credit union
experienced tremendous growth, and only 24 years later reached
$1.2B in assets, with a total of $3B under management. Particularly
unique for a credit union of its asset size, ECCU serves only about
12,000 members from one satellite branch in Colorado Springs,
Colorado, and its headquarters in Brea, California. A great many
of the credit union’s members are ministries and churches, which
contributes to some of its unique characteristics. In addition to these
ministries, ECCU’s 275 employees also serve 3,500 missionaries in
over 100 countries. Of particular importance to this case study is
that ECCU’s headquarters is home to a large majority of its workforce,
and this lack of dispersal among the employee base no doubt
affects participation within its peer network.
Trust and Empowerment: A Youth- Directed Peer
Network with Corporate Sponsorship—Servus Credit
The success of the Servus Young Leaders Network (SYLN) would not
have been possible if it had not been built on the firm foundation
of collaboration among young leaders in the worldwide credit union
This collaboration began in July 2009 when I (Devin Selte) was
given the opportunity to take part in the World Council of Credit
Unions (WOCCU) conference in Barcelona, Spain. As part of the
conference, I participated in the WOCCU Young Credit Union
People (WYCUP) program, which provided me with the opportunity
to network with credit union peers from around the world. This
experience broadened my understanding of the worldwide credit
union system and ignited in me a passion for developing young leaders
at my credit union.
During the WYCUP session, I was introduced to Ross Lambrick, a
young credit union leader from Australia. The passion for peer development
that Ross and I shared sparked a great friendship between
us. Prior to traveling to Barcelona, Ross had been identified as an
outstanding young leader by the Australian credit union system for
his creation of an emerging leaders program. During and after the
conference, Ross generously shared information about his program’s
vision and structure, which gave me a solid framework on which to
build a proposal for the SYLN.
Once the proposal for the SYLN was complete, I wanted to solicit
feedback from people I trusted. I was pleased to have the willing participation
of Ross and several other members of the WYCUP group,
as well as a few of my peers at Servus Credit Union, to review the
proposal. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and after only
a few slight tweaks, I forwarded the proposal on to Eric Dillon, chief
operating officer of Servus Credit Union, in August 2009.
Eric was intrigued by the proposal, as he has always had a real passion
for developing the full potential of leaders. In fact, his devotion
to that cause was the reason that the Credit Union Central of
Canada recognized him as the first ever Young Leader award winner.
Eric is the founding member of the National Young Leaders (NYL)
Committee in Canada. NYL’s purpose is to be the advocate of young
leaders, to influence change in the credit union system, and to drive
forward talent management of young leaders in the Canadian credit
union system through awareness campaigns and program support.
Because of Eric’s passion for leadership development, and his belief
in me, he passed on the proposal to our chief people officer, Dan
Bruinooge. Like Eric, Dan welcomed the proposal because he clearly
saw the need for a concerted effort to develop emerging leaders at
Servus Credit Union.
After discussion by the senior management team, it was decided that
Bob Webb, senior manager of leader development at the time, would
e made the executive sponsor of the young leaders network. Bob
and I had an inaugural meeting in November of the same year to discuss
our perspectives on the proposed program. We quickly reached
common ground and decided that the best way forward was to seek
out a small group of other young leaders to assist with the development
of the program.
Creating a cohesive team wasn’t easy. Just the previous year, Servus
Credit Union had completed a merger with two other credit unions
(one of the biggest mergers in credit union history), and the new
culture of Servus had yet to be fully defined.
To help you truly appreciate the magnitude of these mergers, here is
an indication of the sizes of the three credit unions that were merged:
• Servus Credit Union: 60 branches, 195,000 members, $4.75B
CAD, 900 employees.
• Community Savings Credit Union: 30 branches, 110,000 members,
$2.5B CAD, 640 employees.
• CommonWealth Credit Union: 15 branches, 52,000 members,
$1.5B CAD, 300 employees.
To ensure that the SYLN
I should have established team norms and meeting protocols adequately appealed to all
early in the process, given the size and group dynamics of the employees, regardless of which
legacy credit union they were
employed by, I invited three
representatives from each of the legacy institutions to participate in
the development of the program. It was essential that all employees
had an advocate on SYLN’s executive committee.
In December we had our first teleconference meeting to set the direction
and vision for the SYLN. This is when I entered into the most
difficult phase of creating the network.
Due to the nature of teleconferences, and the fact that many of the
employees on the executive committee had never even met, these
meetings were challenging because we were unable to reach a consensus
on first steps for the network. For months the group was
hamstrung. We couldn’t decide whether to kick off the network as an
incomplete idea in order to start building momentum, or to take the
extra time to develop a clear vision and structure that would support
the organization as it grew.
Even after the executive committee had its first face-to-face meeting
in March 2010, we were still unable to resolve some of the strong
differences of opinion that existed.
In retrospect, some of the delay in getting the group started was my
fault. I should have established team norms and meeting protocols
early in the process, given the size and group dynamics of the executive
committee. Since most group members were meeting for the
first time, I should have arranged for a team- building event to break
down the barriers. This is especially true given the cultural baggage
that remained from the recent mergers. It wasn’t until August 2010
(nine months after our launch) that I scheduled the first teambuilding
exercise. Though it was late, it went a long way toward
bringing the group together.
Eventually, the executive committee began to come together as an
effective unit. Though not always able to reach a consensus, the
group has learned to respectfully disagree and move on without jeopardizing
As fate would have it, Bob Webb left Servus Credit Union in April
2010. With the departure of the executive sponsor of the SYLN, the
executive committee was naturally unsure of how to proceed in his
absence. Rather than sit idle, the committee determined that the best
course of action would be to focus inward and develop a mission,
vision, constitution, and organizational structure for the SYLN while
we waited to see how Bob’s departure affected our operations.
Prior to leaving, Bob had provided the SYLN with its most important
feature: autonomy. Bob believed that to be successful in developing
young leaders, the group would have to be an opportunity
for development in and of itself; thus, he took a very hands-off
approach. By being employee led, the SYLN provides participants
with the opportunity to be creative and free from unnecessary constraint.
However, Bob also knew that an important part of leadership
is accountability, and accountability for our actions and decisions is
highly stressed among the group and by our executive sponsor.
After Bob’s departure, the role of executive sponsor shifted to Dan
Bruinooge, who has continued Bob’s tradition of entrusting the
SYLN to its executive committee of young leaders.
After Dan had transitioned into his role as executive sponsor, we
arranged a meeting with the Executive Leaders Team of Servus
Credit Union in August 2010 to showcase our work. After presenting
our vision for the SYLN, we presented an action plan and budget
request for $30,000 CAD (half to be used for travel and meetings,
and the other half to be used on projects).
To our surprise, the Executive Leaders Team not only approved the
budget request but increased the budget to $50,000 CAD and asked
us to make a few minor improvements to the program.
Through our journey, the SYLN has developed the following
• Vision and mission statements.
• Constitution (including organizational structure).
• Chair/Vice-Chair/Executive Committee member duties and
• Decision-making process for network leadership.
• Succession plan for the Executive Committee, which includes
three-year terms, as well as an application and voting process to
elect new members.
• National Scholarship Program (which includes mentorship).
• Social networking site opened to all Servus Credit Union staff.
• Monthly Servus Young Leader Spotlight section on social networking
• Annual opportunities for Executive Committee influence at the
national conference of Credit Union Central of Canada (Servus
Credit Union provides complete scholarships for Executive Committee
members in the second year of their term).
• Budgetary responsibilities.
• 35 Under 35 Leadership Retreat.
• Grassroots SYLN meet-ups in localized areas and at individual
branches have begun to spring up, offering mentorship opportunities
for current Servus leaders to share their experiences with
• Local groups have begun holding regular lunch-and-learn sessions
to share knowledge, and have participated in community- based
volunteer work to build relationships.
The success of the SYLN has been attributed to the following:
• My initial passion and advocacy for the creation of the network.
• A group of young leaders within the credit union who were able
to put previous cultural differences aside and build an industryleading
young leaders development program.
• A champion for young leadership development stepped up at the
senior leadership level.
• Buy-in at the executive leadership team level.
• Recognition that engaging with, and building up, future leaders
in the organization was critical to ensuring the success of the
• Autonomy was provided to encourage fearlessness in creativity,
while accountability was retained for the decisions being made.
Areas of improvement over the SYLN model include:
• Build a vision early on to serve as a guide for leadership.
• Establish meeting and team norms at the very first gathering.
• Organize a team- building event as a way to build relationships if
teammates are unfamiliar with one another.
Benevolent Oversight: A Corporate Leadership Training
Ever on the hunt for improvement, the leadership team at CU SoCal
uses a semiannual internal service survey to evaluate areas of change
that management needs to address. Several employees used these
surveys, as well as staff meetings and the annual meeting, to request
a leadership training program that would prepare staff at the credit
union for future management positions.
The Service and Development department grabbed on to these
comments and decided to implement a program in order to improve
retention and employee satisfaction
and reduce the need for
Possibly the most important part of the training program is outside hiring to fill management
positions. In 2008, Ismael
that it is self-directed.
Munoz, vice president of Service
and Development, set out to
create a training program that would adequately prepare employees
for a future in management.
It was not a small task. In the end, the training program was a dense
14-page document packed with instructional requirements, lesson
guides, and an accountability form. However, as you will see, the
program is a robust survey of management and leadership principles,
credit union operations, and practical training for the employees who
enter the program.
But possibly the most important part of the training program is that
it is self- directed. A candidate who decides to participate in the program
must submit a one-page proposal to his or her direct manager,
the senior vice president of his or her business unit, and the vice
president of Service and Development. The candidate’s memo must
include a summary of the reasons for his or her interest in participating
in the leadership training program, including the benefits
to the employee, his or her work teams, the credit union, and the
This is significant because an important part of meaningful leadership
training is self- selection among candidates. The best candidates
for leadership are individuals who are proactive, self- directed, and
willing to invest serious time in their development for a leadership
ole. Individuals who fall into positions unexpectedly are often
unprepared for the responsibility or, worse, fail to take the responsibility
seriously. Removing the proactive and self- directed component
from a leadership training program is a recipe for disaster.
While the program has experienced minor changes since it first
began, Ismael’s original educational plan remains largely intact. The
program is designed to be completed over a two-year period, with
quarterly accountability for goals. Specific components of the program
are outlined below.
Management and Leadership Training
• Over the course of the program, attend six leadership workshops
and follow each one up with an action plan for using the information
received to improve your department:
Coaching and Mentoring
Counseling and Documenting
Employee Development and Performance Evaluations
Progressive Discipline, Separations, and Leaves of Absence
The 5 Questions Every Leader Must Ask
• Complete four hours of online training each quarter in any one of
the following areas:
Leadership and management
• Read one management book each quarter and complete a onepage
summary on the key principles of the book and how you
will apply them to your department.
Credit Union Operations
• Meet for at least one hour with each of the managers of CU
SoCal’s 12 major units, plus one branch manager of your choice.
Discuss what each of the departments does in order to gain a
high-level understanding of the full range of operations at the
• Working with your manager and the vice president of Service and
Development, select one of the credit union’s governance committees
(Service, Compliance, etc.) to participate on.
Industry and General Business Exposure
• Attend one credit union system meeting each quarter and collect
at least three business cards to demonstrate your effort to network
with others (appropriate meetings include California Credit
Union League chapters, chamber of commerce, etc.).
• Attend one outside workshop for professional development and
complete a one-page summary of the key principles and how they
changed your perspective on leadership.
• Work with your manager to define the specific goals of your individual
leadership training program, set reasonable objectives, and
hold yourself accountable to those objectives.
• Set meetings with your manager, the senior vice president of your
business unit, the vice president of Service and Development,
and the various department heads to ensure timely completion of
• With consultation from your manager, choose training courses,
leadership books, and external meetings/workshops to attend.
• As a final task, give a 15-minute presentation at an allmanagement
staff meeting regarding what you learned from the
program and how you plan to integrate it into your career.
Though the program’s education plan hasn’t changed much, one
major change occurred in 2010. When the program was originally
created, the credit union’s leadership team thought that it would be
best utilized by staff in lower- level supervisor positions as they sought
to improve themselves for transition to middle and upper management.
But in the first year that the program was in operation only
one qualified supervisor volunteered for it. This was not quite the
participation rate that management had expected, especially since
staff had requested the program.
After receiving suggestions from staff and hearing that people from
many different positions wanted to be in the program, management
agreed to give anyone the opportunity to participate. Once the
program was opened up to all interested staff, participation increased
greatly. Where before the program had only one participant, as of
January 2012 there were six program participants.
I (Aaron Burnham) was among the first to request to be in the
program. The program has been very successful at preparing me for
future leadership. However, I must admit that it is not for the faint
of heart. CU SoCal’s leadership training program requires considerable
dedication, as each quarter is packed tight with meetings, educational
learning, and leadership books. The volume of work that is
equired in addition to regular duties, and the fact that the candidate
is required to manage these time commitments without missing program
objectives, means that the process inherently drives out those
who aren’t up for the challenge of leading the credit union.
A Grassroots Movement: Peer Networking without
I (Matt Weidler) have always had a passion for leadership. In the
course of nurturing that passion, I have learned over time that we
often need to let go of our preconceived notions about the importance
of positions and authority in leadership and instead focus on
developing leadership opportunities wherever we find ourselves.
In 2006, I recognized that there were a substantial number of young
employees at ECCU who considered themselves “next in line” for
supervisory roles. These were solid performers who were well trained
in their fields and could be considered subject matter experts.
However, while ECCU made a considerable investment in training
and conferences related to their professions, time management, and
project management, there was little or no training available that
would meaningfully prepare them to be future managers of people.
Therefore, I decided that the first step I could take was to form a
core group of individuals whom I had identified as up-and- comers
and begin networking with them to prepare for the future.
This peer networking took the form of regular lunches with two
other guys at a nearby pizza parlor. At some point in 2007, during
one of these lunches, I had my first real flash of inspiration for a
broader young professionals network (what would later become the
Career Development Network [CDN]). I ran it by the guys, and
they thought it was a great idea. So in my spare time I began to think
about what this group could look like.
Unfortunately, instead of investing time and energy into developing
this idea, I got sidetracked by a rather unsuccessful personal project.
In the meantime, one of my two lunch associates left the credit
union, and our peer networking group fell apart. I no longer had a
foundation on which to build a larger group.
For four long years the idea festered in the back of my mind, rarely
thought of. Then in 2011, something phenomenal happened: I won
CO-OP Financial Services’ $10,000 THiNK Prize.
Attending the THiNK Conference and winning the THiNK Prize
were catalysts for the CDN in two very important ways. First, winning
the prize provided me with a much-needed confidence boost.
Receiving industry recognition for an innovative idea reaffirmed my
sense of worth, and it renewed a sense of risk- taking and initiative
Second, attending the THiNK Conference brought me into an
unexpected meet-up with the Crash Network (now the Cooperative
Trust). Prior to THiNK, I had attended industry conferences as part
of my role as political liaison, but I was not familiar with this group
of young credit union professionals. At THiNK, I met people like
Brent Dixon, Ronaldo Hardy, Sasha Kemble, Jill Nowacki, and other
rising stars in the industry. This was important because I had previously
felt like an outsider at these conferences and was starting to
think that maybe there were no other passionate young professionals
in the credit union system. The Crash Network proved those feelings
wrong and convinced me that I could not be alone in wanting a
young professionals network at ECCU.
When I returned from the conference I was determined to start
this group. Since I had no idea where to start, I did what any selfrespecting
member of Generation Y would do and Googled “starting
a young professionals network.” Naturally, Google had the answer
that I needed, in the form of an article by an accomplished young
woman named Angela Marino, author of the Girl Meets Business
blog. 3 Angela recommends the following seven steps to starting a
young professionals network:
1. Assess what’s out there.
2. Establish a goal.
3. Get a few people on board.
4. Get a sponsor.
5. Spread the word.
6. Build partnerships.
7. Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate.
The steps are designed to be completed in the order listed, with
step 7 being an ongoing process.
The CDN owes much of its
It turns out that to start a leadership network, you need to exercise
a bit of leadership by being the first to step out on the limb beginning stages of a peer net-
success to this advice. The
and show people where you want to take them.
work are the most vulnerable, as
participants are unsure of their
commitment and leaders are uncertain of their potential success.
Having a solid plan that follows logical steps is a great way to reduce
Following Angela’s advice, I began by assessing the environment
so that as I developed my goals I could determine whether there
was overlap with existing groups. I focused primarily on ECCU’s
employee- sponsored groups, training courses for frontline staff, and
the credit union system in general (such as the Crash Network and
trade associations). I did not evaluate community- based programs in
my city or county, because I did not believe they could cater to my
target audience (employees of ECCU who were passionate about the
credit union system). I knew that my mission was to prepare ECCU’s
frontline staff for the jump to management, but I didn’t find anything
serving that purpose specifically. So, I resolved to go ahead and
create the “Young Professionals Network” (its infant name).
Generally, I am a consensus leader. My preference is always to get
a team together in a room and lead them toward making decisions
as a group. So it felt out of place for me to follow Angela’s second
step and create goals for the organization without consulting others.
However, in retrospect, I believe this advice was key to the group’s
success. In honesty, I had already envisioned what the group would
exist to do, so involving more people in hammering out goals would
have created needless conflict. Also, I found that it was much simpler
to recruit others when they had a firm vision of what the group was
trying to accomplish.
It turns out that to start a leadership network, you need to exercise a
bit of leadership by being the first to step out on the limb and show
people where you want to take them. For the CDN at ECCU, I
chose six goals. These goals are separated into two distinct categories:
three are specific to the work of the CDN, and three are reiterations
of one of ECCU’s six core value statements, highlighting how the
CDN’s work reinforces corporate principles.
1. Provide valuable career development opportunities.
2. Encourage peer networking.
3. Promote ground-up enterprise communication.
Core Values Focus
4. Build God- honoring relationships.
5. Reinforce passion for our work.
6. Foster creativity at all levels.
I chose these goals because my passion is to develop myself and others
for leadership. I want the next generation of ECCU’s leaders to
begin coming together now so that our relationships are strong when
the time comes for us to lead ECCU, and I want to improve the
feedback of valuable business information from frontline employees
to the company’s decision makers.
The truth is that when you set a vision, not everyone will want
to follow it, and that’s all right. You only really want people
who believe in your vision following you anyway.
After determining the network’s goals, I decided that the best agenda
I could set for the group would be a monthly lunch that would alternate
between on-site mentorship sessions and off-site networking
sessions. The idea was to have an executive staff member or successful
member of our business community come on-site to discuss with
us how he or she achieved success and to share advice.
Once the goals and agenda were in place, it was time to move on to
step 3: getting a few people on board. Rather than trying to pitch
this idea by myself to every young face I saw, I decided that a better
approach would be for me to look for three other motivated people
and bring them on board as boosters. I focused on giving these three
folks a strong sell for how this group could help them and the credit
union, in hopes that they would get excited about a young professionals
network. (I also made it a point to target at least one female
coworker for this group to ensure that we didn’t create a boys club,
but instead genuinely appealed to all employees.)
My hope for these boosters was that each of them would recruit at
least three other people they knew to attend the first meeting. This
added a personal touch to the invitation because it came from someone
they knew, and it broadened
my reach by increasing my
voice from one person to four
At this point, I ran into my
first setback. Despite all of my
careful planning and meticulous selection of booster candidates, two
of the three individuals I had targeted rejected my invitation. One
individual was very excited about the idea, but she was pregnant and
uncomfortable making a commitment so close to an extended leave
of absence. She was, however, kind enough to make a suggestion
about whom I should ask instead. Her recommendation proved to
be extremely valuable, as Elizabeth is extremely energetic, passionate
about her peers’ career development, and unbelievably detailed.
This was a great example of the old proverb, “When one door closes,
The second rejection was harder to take. This individual, after giving
it some thought, told me that he just wasn’t interested in a group like
this. In my zeal for creating the network, I had misjudged a coworker’s
motivations; to say that it was a real embarrassment would be to
underplay the emotions I felt. If I hadn’t built up as much momentum
as I had by already having one person agree to be a booster, it
would have been tempting to quit right then and there (and go hide
under a rock)!
But this was a very important lesson for me personally. The truth is
that when you set a vision, not everyone will want to follow it, and
that’s all right. You only really want people who believe in your vision
following you anyway. Given the amount of pressure I was putting
on this individual, I actually applaud him for saying no. He knew
what he wanted, and he communicated it even though it wasn’t what
I wanted to hear.
Thankfully, the next two individuals I asked were more excited than
I could have imagined. I was expecting tentative agreement at best,
but instead Jeremy and David responded that they thought this
was exactly the kind of thing ECCU was missing (Jeremy was the
remaining lunch associate from my original lunches four years prior).
I was pleased to learn just a few months later that their involvement
with the CDN had revitalized their passion and commitment to the
After getting the key boosters on board, I moved on to step 4,
finding a sponsor. Because of the busyness at my credit union, the
recently short-staffed status of our HR department, and the desire
for the group to be self- directed and autonomous, I decided that
our young professionals network would not have one chief corporate
sponsor. Instead, we would ask for small forms of sponsorship
from speakers who came to share with us. Some were kind enough
to provide a free lunch, others offered free books to which they had
contributed, but all were gracious enough to share their time and
After deciding what sponsorship should look like, we began planning
the first meeting so that we could begin spreading the word (step 5).
We wanted the first meeting to make a big impression on our young
professionals segment, so we asked a young and recently promoted
vice president to be our inaugural speaker for the group. Our vice
president of Strategic Services gladly accepted, becoming the first of
what would be many executive and senior management staff members
to joyfully participate in these lunches. In fact, many of our
speakers have thanked the CDN leadership team for giving them a
venue in which to share their stories.
Once we had a confirmed speaker, I asked my boosters to start
spreading the word about the lunch meeting, and I drafted an
announcement to be posted in common areas and on ECCU’s internal
electronic message board.
However, I started to get cold feet. I didn’t want to upset anyone in
the business with our announcement, since individual career development
blends the lines between work and personal life. So, despite
our focus on developing individuals and not the company, I decided
that it would be prudent to pass the communication piece by our
vice president of HR for her consideration. We wanted the group
to be organized as an optional employee group so that the time was
not considered on-the-clock. She requested a meeting to discuss our
intentions and her concerns.
This was when the three boosters I sought out really stepped up and
showed that they were interested in being true leaders for the group.
I had copied them on the e‐mail to HR, and they insisted on being
at the meeting with our vice president to help in any way that they
could. At this point, I realized that I wasn’t in this alone anymore,
that I could release some of the burden. Further, it reaffirmed that
this was an important cause, since other people were willing to fight
The vice president of HR was very supportive. Right off the bat, she
said that she loved what we were doing and that it was unfortunate
ECCU hadn’t been able to offer anything like this before. However,
she also wanted to confirm that we recognized the gray area this
crossed into. Most importantly, although this was technically an
optional employee- organized group, and not company sponsored, we
still had to be careful not to discuss ECCU business to ensure that
staff didn’t need to be compensated for their time at these lunches.
We were to discuss only general career development concepts, not
She also told us that she had shared our communication with the
newly formed employee engagement committee, a group of about a
dozen employees from all levels and departments of the organization
who provide feedback on enterprise
goals and initiatives. They
The first meeting was a huge success. We had well over a dozen
provided two valuable pieces of
employees show up to that first meeting, and the guest speaker
feedback: First, their response
connected really well with the audience. It was a great start for
to the network was very positive
(more than one person said
they’d be interested in joining
such a group); second, they thought we should consider a name that
didn’t exclude people based on age, as some people become interested
in career development and advancement later in life. This has proved
to be quite true, as we have had several attendees who were older
than we expected. This second piece of advice is what spawned our
prelaunch name change from the Young Professionals Network to
the Career Development Network, as it is known today.
It was now time to send out our announcements and hold the first
At this point, being the consensus leader type, I wanted to solidify
the boosters as part of a leadership team and not just as boosters for
the meetings. So I began using the title “CDN Leadership Team” in
our discussions about the lunch and reinforced that I was interested
in their feedback. I also made a point of telling the other members of
the team that this wasn’t my group—it was our group. And I made it
clear that my opinion wasn’t the last word; we would all decide how
the group should be run.
Prior to the lunch, we agreed to have someone to take notes, someone
to introduce our guest speaker, and another person to open the
session with prayer and an invocation. We also agreed that as part of
our career development objective, every month we would provide the
group with information about one free resource they could obtain
that related to credit unions, financial services, leadership, or the
evangelical Christian community (something specific for our credit
union). The lunch meetings begin with 15 minutes of unguided peer
networking where people are free to talk and eat their lunch; 5 minutes
of introduction, invocation, and the presentation of the free
resource; and then 40 minutes for our guest speaker’s presentation.
The first meeting was a huge success. We had well over a dozen
employees show up to that first meeting, and the guest speaker
connected really well with the audience. It was a great start for the
Between the first and second meetings, the group decided to make
two important changes. One was the addition of a monthly newsletter
that captured the previous speaker’s notes, a bio on one of
the group members, and some information about the group and
our next meeting. The second was to have only on-site mentorship
lunches, because the group was too unfamiliar to have meaningful
off-site networking lunches. After eight months of meeting together,
we were finally able to begin holding off-site networking lunches
once a quarter, and they have been well received as opportunities to
find out more about one another.
After six months of successful meetings, the group had moved
beyond its infant stages and was now mature enough to begin building
partnerships (step 6). At this point, I applied for the Crash Network’s
CANVAS scholarship to “crash” the California and Nevada
Credit Union League’s annual convention in San Diego, California.
The hope was to increase my network of young professionals within
the Western Hemisphere and begin spreading the CDN program
across the nation. My desire was, and still is, to use career development
networks within individual credit unions to develop people
professionally where they find themselves; to use leagues, and local
chapters of the leagues; to network with industry- focused individuals
on a broader basis so they can achieve bigger goals; and to use
national conferences and trade association events as educational
forums for up-and- coming credit union leaders.
This is why I created this brief with the help of my fellow “crashers”—to
provide you with the knowledge you need in order to do
what I’ve done. I certainly hope you will join me in these efforts!
Each of the three career development programs mentioned in these
case studies continues to operate successfully. For our purposes, success
is defined as receiving continuous, active, and voluntary participation,
as well as having a majority of group members deem the
programs as impactful for their career development.
Furthermore, these case studies highlight the fact that the career
development of young professionals is a topic of great importance
to many in the credit union system. Still, some credit union managers
remain convinced that time and money should not be wasted
on developing young professionals, preferring instead to allow the
next generation to be wholly responsible for their own development.
Thankfully, this group is dwindling, but the claims are still worth
First, it is incorrect to assume that time and money are wasted
on these activities. Such an assumption flies in the face of welldocumented
research, the likes of which have appeared repeatedly
in reputable sources like the Harvard Business Review (including the
research of Daniel Goleman and the Hay/McBer consulting firm).
Young professional development is closely related to the coaching
style of leadership, which emphasizes intentional long-term development
of employees over short-term benefits to the organization
(such as productivity or cost savings). In the previously cited research
gathered from thousands of business executives, “coaching” activities
were unquestionably associated with improved employee performance,
higher standards of excellence, better perception of the
fairness of corporate rewards systems, improved clarity about mission
and values, and greater commitment to the organization.
The second error is in assuming that young professionals should be
wholly responsible for their own development. The dangerous part of
this assumption is the grain of truth on which it is built. It is absolutely
true that young professionals have responsibility for their own
development. The problem is that they often have no idea where to
begin, and so a lot of time and talent is wasted trying to figure out
on their own what previous generations have already learned. The
danger in assuming members of the next generation are responsible
for themselves is in using that as an excuse not to meaningfully participate
in their development.
The current generation of leaders clearly has an interest in developing
the careers of high- potential employees to ensure ready access to
talent, greater employee satisfaction, and improved commitment to
the organization and its goals, as well as an interest in satisfying their
own personal needs to have their work experience valued through
a mentoring relationship. Failure to recognize these benefits will be
costly to everyone.
1. Daniel Goleman, “Leadership That Gets Results,” Harvard
Business Review, accessed March 2012, http://academy.
2. Robert R. Blake and Jane Mouton, The Managerial Grid (Houston,
TX: Gulf Publishing, 1994).
3. Angela Marino, “How to Start a Young- Professionals Networking
Group,” Girl Meets Business blog, accessed April 2011,
ideas grow here
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www.filene.org PUBLICATION #280 (11/12)