By Frank J. Diekmann
You’ve heard since third grade that it pays to be prepared. Preparation is key. The only time you don’t want to think preparation is when an H is involved. But can you overprepare?
You can if it leads to you giving the impression that you’re not authentic, or that it isn’t you speaking as much as it is some rote exercise.
That all came to mind in listening to remarks given to CU audiences recently. Stories about former NFL QB, two-time Super Bowl winner and certain Hall of Famer Payton Manning’s preparation are legendary. Even in high school and then at Tennessee, he was known to fill notebooks in every meeting and to constantly pepper coaches with questions. The result was a total command of not just games, but practices, and his career successes make clear the payoff in the case of playing football.
“Preparation was where I always thought I could get an edge,” he observed recently.
But is it possible to have too much of an edge? In least in this one case, yes.
Call An Audible
Manning is under contract with Mastercard and as a result has made a few appearances before credit union groups of late. During recent remarks before PSCU’s Member Forum in Austin, there were really two different Peyton Manning: the first stood fixed at the podium and never departed from prepared remarks that pretty obviously someone at Mastercard or its PR agency had written and put in front of him.
“In your industry, banks flood the industry with wall-to-wall branding. Add to that dramatic changes in technology and P2P payments and success starts to look drastically different,” he said.
Because we all know that now that Manning isn’t playing, he’s filling his free time with his other passion, financial services trendlines. In addition to the remarks above, he made numerous other industry references, as well. But just as Manning made a certain city in Nebraska famous every Sunday, it just didn’t sound natural (in fact, it sounded forced) to listen to him talk as if payments-related issues were his new crush, and in this case he should have called an audible.
About Team Flights
Manning was much better when he took a seat on a couch on stage for some Q&A, where speaking extemporaneously he delighted the standing-room-only crowd. (To his credit, he said “members,” not customers, so the preparation did show there.)
Manning did, incidentally, offer a number of funny anecdotes, as you would expect, including this observation about the team plane after a game. “The next time you’re on a flight and the flight attendant says this plane cannot take off until everyone is seated and the cellphones are turned off, that’s just not true.”
You can find Manning’s full remarks here.
Who Moved the Cheese?
Another former football great who is also representing Mastercard and speaking to credit unions meetings is Dallas Cowboys’ Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith. Speaking to the NACUSO annual meeting in San Diego, Smith shared one of the first lessons he learned about being a professional as he was waiting to be drafted out of the University of Florida—and like Manning, in this case it was also payments-related.
Smith said he and his family were hosting a draft day party, and a larger-than-expected crowd showed up. “It’s amazing how people have a great time at your expense,” Smith observed.
Later, he shared how prior to being selected by Dallas the rumor was he was going to be selected by the Green Bay Packers. It wasn’t his first choice, said Smith, who is a Florida native. “I love cheese, but I love cheese on my grits.”
Irony on Wheels
While in Austin I rode back to the airport with an Uber driver who told me he is also a robotics engineer. When I shared that at many credit union meetings there is a growing unease/fear by people afraid they will lose their jobs to robots. He responded by saying the fears were overblown, and people don’t need to worry. Which seemed kind of strange coming from a guy who’s working for a company investing billions in eliminating his job. But it was dark, so maybe it wasn’t a human, after all?
Are You In On the Secret?
Apparently, your job is a lot more exciting than you think.
There’s a new television series running on Ireland’s public service broadcast network that features a credit union. Mullingar Credit Union is the focus of the eight-part series called “The Borrowers” on Radio Television Ireland, better known as RTE.
“The fly-on-the-wall program will take viewers behind the scenes and into a credit union loan office, for the first time ever on Irish television,” the Westmeath Examiner reported. “Viewers will see real Mullingar Credit Union members applying for loans, and hear all of the unique reasons behind the loan applications.”
The executive producer and director of the series said it offers a “peek” into what he called “the most secretive room in the country—the credit union loan office.”
Wow. Not sure what kind of ancient Celtic rituals are going on in secret behind the loan office doors across Ireland, but it does make me want to tune in. You can find additional details here.
Frank J. Diekmann is Cooperator in Chief at CUToday.info and can be reached at Frank@CUToday.info or @FrankCUToday.