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What CUs Need Most Today is Strong Leadership, Says Rise Performance Group's Mark Fenner
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 6:20 AM

Mark Fenner

For credit unions to meet the challenges they face today, they require more than effective lobbyists, creative marketing, and good customer service. What they need is strong leadership – throughout the organization, from top to bottom – says leadership expert Mark Fenner of Rise Performance Group. 

"There is a constantly changing landscape that credit unions must deal with, and credit unions with strong leaders can leverage these changes and turn them into opportunities for positive, beneficial progress," said Fenner. "Strong leaders not only see where their organizations need to go, but take them there, regardless of turbulence in the industry and the economy."

Fenner emphasized that a credit union needs leaders at all levels of the organization because, he said, "our newest findings show that individuals in the middle and at the bottom of credit unions and other organizations can provide a tremendous lift, once you tap into their considerable potential."

Fenner, president of Rise Performance Group, will present two important sessions on leadership at the Cornerstone Credit Union League’s Annual Meeting & Expo, April 22-24 in San Antonio. Those sessions will focus on the key traits of growth-oriented leaders and how young professionals can grow into the strong leaders of the future.

"Change is going to happen. Credit unions can't do anything about that. But achieving positive changes requires real leadership," Fenner said. "That includes the ability to formulate a compelling vision for the credit union, to create growth opportunities, and to drive responsibility and problem-solving to the individuals closest to these opportunities."

As far as younger leaders are concerned, Fenner said, they need to be working now to maximize the value they can bring to their credit unions both in the short and long term.

"Young leaders have a valuable perspective, but they need to gain influence for that perspective to be heard," Fenner said. "It comes down to refining the ability to gain influence, among your peers and the people you work for and who work for you. That requires a 'game plan' for growing as a leader, and as your career advances the importance of effective leadership skills increases."

Fenner, who has done extensive work with credit unions in his 25-year career, will address both of these issues in depth in his Cornerstone annual meeting presentations. He served  as an executive for TNB Card Services before forming Rise Performance Group, and currently consults with several credit unions in leadership development.

Online registration is now available for the Cornerstone Credit Union League’s Annual Meeting & Expo April 22-24 in San Antonio, Texas. The theme for this premiere event of the year is one team…one dream, Unite for Good. Credit union professionals and volunteers should register by Register by March 23, 2014 to secure the best hotel rate and the best conference rate.

For more information on the Annual Meeting & Expo, including registration, please visit the Education section of Cornerstone’s website. If you have any questions, please contact Training & Events, at (469) 385-6630 or (800) 442-5762, ext. 6630

Educational grants are available through the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation. To learn more, please visit