Credit Union Geek

Marketing, Strategy, and The Force by Joe Winn

Tag: vacation

Pages of Your Passport

The passport. Perhaps the item most representative of travel, exploration, distant places, and adventure. Do you have one? What stories does it tell? Flipping through the pages is a journey through the past. From my own: Cayman Islands, what a dive trip. Galapagos, islands locked in time. Belize, the meeting of conservation and sustenance. Peru, where Machu Picchu was only one of the spectacles. Canada, because Niagara Falls from the U.S. side is only ok. Bahamas, because boating from island to island doesn’t get old.

The State Department gives 10 years between renewals. How many pages can you fill in a decade? For me, fewer than I had hoped. Don’t get me wrong, each stamp has hours of tales, but there are far more countries not represented. My next one is here, and it will tell new stories, becoming the anchor for more memories of adventures gone by.

Look at your credit union’s passport. Are the pages full? Is it tattered from use or still crisp as new? Consider it your 10-year review. How many journeys did you take for your members? Can you look back and say, “we did it all, and I’m happy to retire it for a new set of pages”?

It’s easy to get caught up in the daily crises and opportunities. We can sometimes lose sight of the overarching mission. If that happens, grab your passport. Relish in the memories of your many accomplishments, then find the blank pages, and imagine how you can serve your members in new ways.

Bonus: No waiting in customs lines.

Image credit: https://openclipart.org/detail/170991/passport-and-ticket

All Packed…Except For That One Thing

Special Sunday Post! If you’ve read it, make me really happy during my travels and comment or share it with your network!

Disclosure: This is written from a personal perspective, and not for an overnight business trip. I am heading to Peru to hike the Inca Trail up to Machu Picchu! Given I live in Florida, I own neither high-altitude nor cold weather gear, at all. Imagine that the next time you shovel snow higher than your car. (It’s ok, during the summer, I can make jokes like this.)

Getting ready for a trip is handled many different ways. Are you the:

  • List-maker
  • Obsessive checker
  • Last-minute packer
  • Let others do it slacker
  • Carefree tosser
  • Organized chaos manager
  • Confident stuffer

Like a shape-shifting alien, you can be all of them at once!

In my preparations, I embraced my “-ers”. Initially, I was overwhelmed. “Basically, it’s impossible.” Then I made a list, and another, and still another. Today, I can tell you 90% of them were useless. But, they helped me transition into my next phase: Obsessive checker. “Do I have this? Perhaps, but better take everything out just to be sure.” Welcome to stressed, enjoy your stay. So I decided to wait until I knew more, when the trip was closer in time. You know, when other people could contribute. That’s not slacking, right?

Carefree tossing is not my style, but earlier today, I looked upon organized chaos and thought, “Manage this!” Each item was placed on my bed, photographed, and given the go/no-go decision right then and there. Sorry Margaritaville shirt, you’re not going to Peru. Pulling my shoulders back (it’s important for posture, especially when carrying the pack…has nothing to do with confidence), I began stuffing the chosen ones into the bag. Cinched tight, clips secured; this is what will come with me on the trail.

I forgot something. No idea what, but it’s important.

And that’s where you can fall into a cycle of inaction. If you’ve been reading my posts, you should know at what point the topic relates to your credit union. The time has come.

Every initiative has a plan, with preparations to support. Like packing for a trip. The “-ers” stop by your branch with glee. You can even name the people exemplified by each (except the slacker; credit unions are only filled with doers). Together, they make success happen. In fact, one could argue their necessity. If your credit union were filled with list makers, not much would get done, but it would be laid out in spreadsheet/presentation elegance. However, having steps all can follow helps keep everyone on the same figurative page. The obsessive checker catches what might be otherwise missed. A last minute push ensures final challenges are overcome. And so on.

The image that comes to mind is herding cats. It may be challenging, requiring specialized skills and a lot of patience, yet when done, a fluffy pile of meows and purrs emerges.

Or a successful program, even if it includes zero cats.

Now, where did that little fur-ball go?

Image credit: “80 – Machu Picchu – Juin 2009 – edit.2” by Martin St-Amant (S23678) – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:80_-_Machu_Picchu_-_Juin_2009_-_edit.2.jpg#/media/File:80_-_Machu_Picchu_-_Juin_2009_-_edit.2.jpg

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