Don’t Get Caught Being Incongruent
Few things are more uncomfortable than finding yourself in a position where it has become clear that you are not walking your talk.
In today’s information flooded environment, it is much easier to find yourself in such a position than ever before–even though you may not realize that you are there.
Let me explain.
The day dawned like any other day. Up at 5:45 am, head downstairs to workout in my home gym, grab some breakfast, shower, and up to the office to start a new week.
As usual, the inbox was filled with messages crying for attention. Fortunately many of them were easily handled by pressing the delete key.
Then I opened it.
The message that hit me like a two-by-four between the eyes because it revealed the incongruity between my advice and my behavior.
Why should you, a credit union leader care?
Because chances are you have the same problem somewhere, and like me, you are probably not even aware of it.
In my case the situation is this: On this website we feature a link at the bottom of each page inviting visitors to sign up for a monthly newsletter called “Speaking of Strategy.” I regularly post articles on the blog about the importance of doing such things and about the power of keeping in touch with those you wish to serve, and regularly advocate doing what you say you will do.
But, the reality is that in the year that the website has been live, the total number of newsletters that have been published is . . . wait for it . . . zero.
The e-mail referred to above was from someone who had signed up for the newsletter and was, rather directly, reminding me of this fact and leaving little doubt that my lack of fulfillment on my promise was a breach of the trust that had been given to me when they signed up for the newsletter.
For that I am truly sorry—both to the person who took the time to tell me about it, and to the others who have not received fulfillment of the promise, but never let me know.
In case you’re wondering, I do have an explanation. Shortly after the website went live, I made the decision not to publish a newsletter, but to instead offer a sign-up to be notified of new blog posts via e-mail.
But it turns out that the website process was never revised to reflect that decision, so it has not been happening. Instead, if people sign up for the newsletter, they receive a message welcoming them and promising that they will receive the next issue–an issue that never comes.
For that reason, I am grateful to the person who took the time to share their disappointment with me. It is leading me to rethink the decision that we made about the newsletter, and it has created a commitment to fixing the problem this week. Best of all, it revealed a challenge that might be important to the credit union audience this site and blog are intended to serve, and that is always a good thing!
Action Advice: Check all of your website links and processes with fresh eyes. Does everything work the way that you think it works? Are there any gaps where the promise is not being fulfilled? What needs to be updated or adjusted to create congruence between your promise and your fulfillment of that promise? Taking the time to review everything you are doing that faces your customers and make appropriate adjustments is important and merits the effort.
Michael Hudson works with credit unions to implement strategies, leadership programs, and culture-building programs. Reprinted with permission from his website www.creditunionstrategy.com/blog.
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