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TTCU CEO Talks Challenges, Opportunities for Movement
Thursday, August 7, 2014 7:00 AM

Tim Lyons, president and CEO TTCU in Tulsa, Okla., has served in the credit union movement for 25 years. During this time, he’s seen a great deal of changes, challenges, and opportunities. In the following Q&A with the Leaguer, Lyons shares his thoughts on the challenges and opportunities facing his credit union and the movement.

Question: What do you see as the greatest challenges facing our movement today? And how do these challenges differ from when you first started?

Lyons: Our greatest challenge will be to remain relevant to the millennial generation whose demands for online convenience continue to outpace our ability to react. Their expectations continue to change and evolve very quickly so that ‘what we could do for them two years ago’ doesn’t satisfy them today.

Question: As a CEO of a credit union, what do you see are your greatest leadership challenges, and opportunities? How do you overcome these challenges and seize these opportunities?

Lyons: My biggest leadership challenge comes in trying to keep up with the ever growing complexity of our business. The only way I know how to do so is to continue hire and develop the leaders under me who are smarter than me in their respective specialties, and as long as we remember that ‘none of us are as smart as all of us’ we’ll be able to address today’s challenges. I try to frequently remind myself and my team of this fact.

Question: With so much competition in the market space, how do you differentiate your credit union in the market space?

Lyons: It really takes a relentless pursuit of excellence in every facet of our credit union. This means that we cannot tolerate mediocrity. It’s important to remember that no one (and no institution) gets this right in every area, but the more areas you get it right, the more competitive you’ll be.

Question: What do you believe are the four pillars of success for your credit union?

Lyons: 1) Remain true to the values of the credit union movement and take care of the member. 2) Practice integrity in everything that you do.  3) Hold yourself and your team to high standards. 4) Believe and care for your team, and give them the resources they need to succeed. Treat them like family.

Question: What keeps you up at night? What do you see as the biggest risks to your credit union?

Lyons: The evolution of mobile payments keeps me up at night. Mobile payments and the electronic wallet are going to be a real game changer for most financial institutions.