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2023 AC&E: Thursday's Guest Speakers - Rodney Hood & Lee Rubin

Rodney Hood

hoodFollowing MCUL CEO Patty Corkery’s Center Stage! presentation Thursday morning, she invited NCUA Board Member Honorable Rodney E. Hood to the stage for a quick conversation.

Among many things, Hood talked about financial inclusion as a civil rights issue. In other words, making sure low-income and marginalized communities have financial access. He stressed for credit unions to provide payday lending alternatives and safe small-dollar loans.

Hood praised Michigan’s financial literacy half-credit requirement legislation, saying more states need to do the same.

During the conversation, he asked attendees how we can use technology and savings products to progress financial inclusion. Credit scores, he said, determine so much of adults’ access and financial ability.

Hood talked briefly about small- and medium-asset credit unions, and said the NCUA is going to have a separate examination process that best fits small- and medium-sized organizations.

“The NCUA is getting away from a one size fits all approach,” he said.

On the same topic, the NCUA Board Chair also talked about taking a look at mergers, and making sure the NCUA is best collaborating with and providing for small- and medium-sized credit unions so they don’t feel like they have to merge in order to remain sustainable.

“It’s all about making sure we are giving smaller credit unions the empowerment they need to succeed,” said Hood.


Lee Rubin

leeLee Rubin, a former captain of the Penn State football team and corporate human resources professional, presented his keynote, “Five Components of Extraordinary Teams.”

The philosophy of his presentation was: teams exist because there’s a challenge or an opportunity too big for one person to handle alone.

“In other words,” he said, “we need each other. We are dependent on each other.” And the sooner we realize that we need each other, the better off we’ll be.

The five components of extraordinary teams are: competitors, common goal, communicate, chemistry and consistent.

He spoke about being a competitor in your job everyday — competing against yourself in order to close the gap between what we are achieving and what we’re capable of achieving.

He stressed the importance of an entire team to talk about what its common goal is, and, more importantly, breaking through the barrier of any one team members’ selfishness. They’ve joined the team not to help it succeed but to leverage the resources of the team for themselves.

“There’s only one way to achieve a common goal, and that’s when every member on the team is willing to make a sacrifice for the sake of the team’s success,” said Rubin.

Let go of the way we’ve always done it because there may be a better way, he continued.

“On extraordinary teams, we celebrate the success of our teammates the way we wish to be celebrated when we succeed. Why?” he asked. “Because when they win, we all win.”

On culture, Rubin said every team has a culture, and every culture has unwritten and unspoken rules that drive the way we behave. The problem, he said, is that 99% of the time, those rules are restrictive and divisive and will keep your team from reaching its potential.

“Open and honest communication is the only way to communicate,” continued Rubin.

He used heat and pressure as metaphors for how to test the chemistry of your team. You will find out who a teammate really is when they’re under heat and pressure, he said. You’ll find out if they start pointing fingers or playing the blame game, or if they come together to solidify and become a better team as a response of heat and pressure, “We need to build teams that will inevitably be able to handle heat and pressure.”

People will do business with you once if you’re good, but they will keep coming back and, more importantly, they will tell others about you if you are consistent in what you do, he said.

Rubin closed on an Aristotle quote: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”

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