Credit Union Leadership: Quantified
Imagine trying to measure gravitational pull. Really. Consider how you might construct a machine to measure the attraction between two masses. If you’re an amateur like me, you wouldn’t even know where to start. But if you think like Henry Cavendish did in 1797, you would construct an elaborate wooden structure and measure torsion in a wire that dangled lead spheres.
Leadership is a little like gravity. It’s powerful, its effects are all around us, and we feel it when we start searching for it, but measuring it — giving it range and a number — requires a bit of Cavendish thinking. In the first part of Filene’s 50 Filene Findings, we’ve focused on some of our most popular reports that measured how different CEO characteristics and behaviors translated into bottom-line performance. In the next two weeks you’ll see some additional findings that shed light on what it takes to measure, and improve, credit union leadership.
- Glass ceiling: Women comprised only 41% of credit union senior staff in 2012 despite making up 70% of the credit union workforce in the United States?
- Board/CEO symbiosis: the only governance practice that yielded a strong positive correlation with actual credit union ROA performance was whether boards felt they had an effective CEO evaluation in place.
- The accounting blind spot: CEOs with backgrounds in finance/accounting scored lower than their peers in strategic thinking measurements
- Credit union CEO strengths: On average, credit union CEOs are better than other leaders at the key strategic skills of challenging, deciding, aligning, and learning (they lag other executives at anticipating and interpreting)
- Gender matters: In almost every way, women feel more empowered working for female CEOs, while men’s responses are more mixed.
Has Filene quantified every leadership factor that influences credit unions? Not yet, but we’re casting those lead spheres and working on it.