How a Management Training Program is Helping Coloramo Federal Credit Union Stride Confidently Towards the Future

An Interview with CEO Mike Moyes About How They Used the Leadership in Action Grant

The Foundation’s Leadership in Action Grant was created as a way to support Credit Unions as they implement leadership initiatives within their own organization. Coloramo Federal Credit Union in Grand Junction, Colorado, was awarded a Leadership in Action Grant this year, in 2019.

We sat down with the Credit Union’s CEO, Mike Moyes, to talk about how they used the grant to strengthen their organization at every level. This is our conversation.

Q: Thank you for speaking with me today, Mike. Would you tell me a little bit about how Coloramo used their Leadership in Action Grant?

Mike: Absolutely. I was introduced to an organization called Inside Out Development while going through the Chief Executive Institute. I really liked the principles that they were teaching and thought that it would be tremendously helpful if I could bring them in to work with my management team. We applied for the Leadership in Action Grant so that we could fund that initiative and were honored to be selected.

We used the grant to fund a full day of intensive Inside Out Development training with our entire Senior Management team and all of our Branch Managers. Many of our managers have never had formal management training and this program really opened their eyes to a lot of essential leadership principles. Overall, I think the program really recharged the batteries of everyone on my management team and sparked a renewed sense of excitement for the work that we do.

Q: When you were first introduced to Inside Out Development, what was it about their work that sparked your interest and made you feel that it would be good for your Credit Union?

Mike: It’s a very personal approach and aptly named because it helps people examine leadership principles and behavior from the inside out.

For example, if someone is stuck, struggling to achieve certain milestones or goals, and unsure about how to get to the next level, Inside Out has a series of questions they can walk through to help them you figure out what they need to do to start moving forward.

Rather than someone talking “at” you, telling you what to do, the entire process is designed so that the individual is able to gain key insights that help themfigure out what they need to do. I think this approach is extremely valuable because decisions about actions and behavior are intrinsically motivated. Over the long term, I would much rather lead a team of people who show up each day with energy and purpose that is internally driven than people who show up because they feel they have to be there.

Q: What was your team’s reception to the program?

Mike: It was fantastic. Everyone expressed very positive feedback about the experience. So much so, that we are probably going to continue working with the folks at Inside Out Development, utilizing them to help us push forward and grow in meaningful ways down the road. We have a follow up meeting with them in a few weeks so that we can discuss how we’ve been utilizing the tools they gave us and what our next steps are.

Q: What do you hope the long term impact of this program will be on the strategic goals of your Credit Union?

Mike: One of my ultimate goals is to transform everyone on my team from “order takers”to leaders.

You know, I could ask pretty much anyone in our Credit Union to do something and they’ll happily comply. That’s great, but I want to see them transform into the kind of leader who can look at every situation from a 360 degree angle, identify problems and tasks that need to be addressed, and have the initiative and confidence to tackle those things head on before anyone else has to come along and ask them to do it.

Rather than leading a group of people who needs to be directed at every move, I want everyone on my team to be able to spot potential pitfalls from a mile away and bring them to our attention so that we can work together to find a solution. I want everyone operating with their eyes wide open, confident in their ability to lead and their role in moving our organization forward.

Ultimately, of course, the long-term goal of all this is to have happier and better served members. Like most Credit Unions, we want to grow our membership and our bottom line. Leadership initiatives like the Inside Out program are a key part of these goals because they help us shape our internal systems so that we are increasingly more effective. The goal is to do a better job for our members every single day and to accomplish that we have to focus on who we are as leaders and how we work together as a team.

Q: Why do you think that internal initiatives like this are a valuable part of growth?

Mike: As an industry, if we are going to continue to grow and thrive, regardless of what the future brings, I think we’ve got to not only work hard, but work smart. These types of programs give us the tools we need to serve our members better, strengthen our teams, and create workplaces that promote the highest standard of professional.

I also want to say that I appreciate the Association so much. They do a great job of supporting all of us in our efforts to serve our members and the Credit Union Movement. We are all fortunate to have them.

Coloramo has grown substantially because of programs like this and we will continue to take full advantage of the resources available to us knowing that with each new level of growth, more will be expected of each of us.

A Call for 2019 Scholarship applications will open in September of 2019.

Click here for more information about how your Credit Union might benefit from this grant.

Leadership in Action Grants are primarily intended to support programs that focus on the creation of strategies, systems, and methods for achieving performance excellence, stimulating innovation, building knowledge and capabilities, and ensuring organizational sustainability.

Leadership initiatives that are values-based and help to encourage the entire workforce to contribute, develop and learn, and/or be innovative and embrace meaningful change, are key to funding these grants. Additionally, elements that underscore ethical behavior, trustworthiness, and personal involvement in planning, communicating, and coaching the workforce are particularly encouraged.