CUToday.info: What intangible of leadership is most difficult to convey or prepare for?
Bob Trunzo: The ability to inspire and lead an organization day-after-day takes focus, strength, and the ability to be “game on” 24/7. You have to show up and lead. I am frequently reminded that “leadership is not a spectator sport.”
CUToday.info: Are you a fan of a management book or books? If not, why not. If so, which have resonated with you and why?
Trunzo: Only a few management books have resonated with me.
My favorite is First, Break all the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. I enjoyed this book because it is an in-depth study of managers who were either in leadership positions or front-line supervisors. The focus is really on managers who excel in turning each employee’s talent into high performance.
CUToday.info: Innovation: Four syllables getting all the attention. Deservedly so? If so, can you really drive innovation? Or is it coming at the cost of implementation and delivery?
Trunzo: Real innovation means thinking about business differently. For example, CUNA Mutual Group’s smartphone loan technology has already driven more than $2 billion in loan applications to credit unions. We introduced this technology just three years ago. Today, it is responsible for one-in-four loan applications to LOANLINER. In order for innovative ideas to stick, they have to be implemented and delivered well.
CUToday.info: The-by-its-very nature-impossible-to-answer-question: from where might your unexpected competitor/threat emerge?
Trunzo: We share the same concerns as credit unions about competition in the financial services marketplace. Today, competitive threats to credit unions come from many directions, including big box retailers, who are banding together to form a large payment consortium. Others include technology companies who have jumped into the payment arena. Collectively, credit unions have a tremendous amount to offer consumers. We have to stay ahead of these other companies.
CUToday.info: If you could go back and talk to You On The First Day On The Job, what advice do you share?
Trunzo: Be careful what you wish for, the job is yours!