Why to Give Your High Potential Credit Union Managers Better Executive Exposure

Why to Give Your High Potential Credit Union Managers Better Executive Exposure

Karin Hurt and David Dye, Let’s Grow Leaders

You want to give your high-potential managers executive exposure but, perhaps you’re a bit worried. After all, not all exposure is good exposure.  It can be tempting to hold back visibility in an effort to protect the high-potential managers you are grooming for future roles in your credit union until they are ready.

  • “She’s a little rough around the edges. She’s not ready for that kind of exposure.”
  • “Not all exposure is good exposure. What if he says something stupid?”
  • “If I bring my SME along to the meeting, my boss will think I don’t know what I’m doing.”

These are just a few of the reasons managers give for keeping their employees in the background doing the heavy lifting, while they present the results and negotiate the political landscape.

Sure, it’s more efficient to have the workers doing the work while the managers explain it, but you might be missing vital opportunities for development, recognition, and growth.

6 Reasons to Give Your Credit Union Managers Better Executive Exposure 

  1. The Spotlight Will Show Up When You Least Expect ItPerhaps the most pragmatic reason to get your team comfortable speaking at the next level is that someday, you won’t be around, and they’ll need to. Some exec will start asking questions as they poke about, and the high-potential manager you are grooming will blow it.
  2. It’s the Best Way to Understand the Bigger Picture

    No matter how many times you explain “why” you are asking your team to do something, somehow when your boss says it, the lightbulbs go off. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard managers say, “You know I said that exact thing, but when my boss said it, they listened.” Sure, it’s frustrating. But the point isn’t who gets credit for getting through—the point is getting through.
  3. They’ll Learn by Watching You

    Bringing your employees along gives them a great chance to watch you in a more senior environment. They’ll learn more from watching than anything you could tell them.
  4. They’ll Learn by Watching Your Boss

    Karin will never forget the first time she walked onto the C-level floor at Verizon. The atmosphere was completely different than the scurry below—a calm intensity was standard protocol. Not easy to explain. The only way she learned to swim in those waters was to watch the bigger fish.
  1. The Preparation Is Great Development

    The conversation you have while preparing for, and debriefing, the session is full of opportunities for growth and connection.
  2. It Takes Time to Build a Brand 

    Don’t wait until Jane is perfectly ready to be promoted until you start talking up her accomplishments and skills. A slow and steady trickle of positive exposure will lay a strong foundation when it’s time to throw her hat in the ring.

It’s natural to want to protect your team until they are completely ready for higher-level exposure. Don’t throw them into the spotlight under-prepared, but regular exposure to higher-level people and strategy will go a long way in accelerating their development.

Karin Hurt and David Dye help human-centered leaders resolve workplace ambiguity and chaos, so that they can drive innovation, productivity and revenue without burning out employees. They will be leading the upcoming Executive Ready: Executive Presence program for Mountain West Credit Union Association.    They’re the founders of Let’s Grow Leaders, and international leadership development firm and the authors of five books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates