CCUL Headlines: Industry Insight

Cult of Personality: The pros & cons of a brand tied to a visionary leader

Wednesday, July 30, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Leigh Anne Terry,
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To many folks, the Apple company and Steve Jobs were one and the same. Jobs was a genius whose work transformed the way we think about computers, music, and accessing information. He was a hands-on leader who also served as an incredibly effective brand and product ambassador.

After Jobs passed away in 2011, all eyes were on the company he helped create. What would Apple do next? Would it thrive? Would it even survive? For many folks, the jury is still out on these issues.

The credit union world has produced its own share of visionaries, pioneers, and revolutionaries throughout its history. And such individuals are still out there today, finding new ways to serve their member-owners and establishing better cooperative environments where innovation can thrive.

The opportunity to work with or for these figureheads can be thought-provoking and empowering, so much so that the rest of the company may develop blinders concerning a critical question: What would happen to us if something were to happen to (insert your leader's name here)?

Sudden changes in staffing can come naturally, as individuals migrate to new opportunities, retire, or even pass away. Other times, they occur out of necessity, with internal or external pressures demanding a dramatic change of course in order to survive. After all, as markets and ideas evolve, there's no guarantee that the business prophet pushing you forward today won't be the same individual holding you back or pushing you over the brink tomorrow.

[After the jump], we look at multiple, external business examples of this phenomenon to highlight how credit unions can maximize the positive impacts of these extraordinary influencers, while also effectively safeguarding themselves, their members, and their brand in the event of an untimely exit.

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