credit unions are wrong in only looking at numbers people for CEO

Why Marketing Directors would make great CEOs

My credit union needs a new CEO, since the previous CEO retired. I recently found out this fact because the local paper printed a retraction. Somehow the paper got everything all mixed up, because the CFO also retired, and they thought that the SVP of Finance was taking over for the retiring CEO, when he was actually taking over for the retiring CFO.

Yes, I know, all those multiple acronyms can be pretty confusing. But maybe the paper wasn’t confused. Maybe they just made an assumption. After all, most credit union CEOs have traditionally come from the CFO ranks, and the paper may have guessed that the credit union board was likely to continue that trend.

Unfortunately, finance people don’t always make the best CEOs. They are often so numbers-oriented, they tend to run companies in a manner just as black and white as their data.

I believe credit unions are wrong in only looking at numbers people.

Great CEOs lead their CU in all areas, not just the one they came from, and they allow their people to do the job they were hired to do. So here’s why credit union Boards really need to look at Marketing as the proving ground for their next CEO:

  • Marketing knows how to connect.
    Marketing is the one department within the credit union that needs to be able to work with the people in every other division. Without getting input from Finance, Operations, Compliance, and without getting the loan officers and tellers excited, how do you run a successful marketing program?
  • Marketing knows how to communicate.
    Marketing professionals are people-oriented, and are the quickest to adapt to new ways of interacting with members and non-members.
  • Marketing has passion.
    Marketers live and breathe the credit union philosophy. No one drinks the kool-aid like marketing.
  • Marketing has vision.
    Marketing understands what appeals to members. They’re in the business of making offers attractive.
  • Marketing understands everyone has different talents.
    Great CEOs lead their CU in all areas, not just the one they came from, and they allow their people to do the job they were hired to do.

And above all else,

  • Marketing knows how to grow.
    Everything Marketing does is aimed at bringing in results. Who better to move your credit union into the future?

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