Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. –Thomas Edison
Recognizing and seizing opportunities to serve is the first step in Servant Leadership—a popular topic in any business, including the financial industry, and a method as germane to organizations as it is to individuals. The daily grind, however, can make it easy to miss opportunities.
Successfully recognizing and seizing opportunities requires agility and proper positioning. The former is a matter of consistent practice; the latter is a matter of corporate culture.
Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union has long practiced a mission of “leading with education,” positioning the organization and individuals within it to seize new opportunities even during busy periods.
A case in point: FMFCU’s commitment to supply tailored financial education to children of varying ages enrolled in summer camp at a local chapter of the YMCA. The Y approached FMFCU because of its reputation for bolstering financial literacy. The task would prove challenging but extremely possible. Retail staff joined forces with staff from Community Education and Marketing to devise a program that would not only meet the request, but also exceed it. After all, financial education is a way to support fiscal responsibility within the community while introducing an entirely new audience to the advantages of credit union membership.
Over six weeks, FMFCU will present day campers courses like “The Value of Money,” “Money 101,” “Needs & Wants,” and “Creating a Business.” The youngest campers will also be treated to a field trip courtesy of FMFCU Partners in Education, a 501(c)(3). They’ll visit Bear Country Credit Union, an 1100 square foot interactive financial literacy center located within FMFCU headquarters. Commonly described as a “living Berenstain Bears book,” this exhibit gives children ten and under an opportunity to roleplay as employees of a financial institution.
Knowing parental involvement is necessary to ensure the long-term success of these workshops, FMFCU suggested an evening seminar for parents to discuss what their children will learn and how it can be applied. Parents will also be invited to partake in the many seminars and workshops FMFCU holds throughout the community on subjects such as Mortgages, Identity Theft, Annuities, Retirement, and Budgeting.
Our educators are calling this summer’s foray into financial education with one YMCA branch CU@theY. It’s a pilot program that already has legs, as fall classes have been scheduled and both parties are looking ahead to a broader program encompassing several YMCA branches in summer 2017.
Servant leadership—in the case of FMFCU, “Leading with Education”—is an opportunity to live a mission, promote a brand, and grow.