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Author "Marketing and Beyond!" Journal           5289 Views
Amanda Thomas McMeans
formerly Mktg & Biz Dev Director








Holyoke, MA

We are not only young
created 03/07/2011

Last week at the Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, DC, I was one of sixteen credit union young professionals awarded with a scholarship to attend as a “Crasher” by CUNA, PSCU Financial Services and the Filene Research Institute.  I cannot thank each of them enough for the amazing experience that I am still trying to wrap my head around. 

Each of these talented Crashers brings a unique perspective to the group, and each is as fired up as I am to catalyze the credit union movement’s future success. 

While we received multitudes of well wishes and support from some GAC participants and speakers such as Gigi Hyland, Mark Meyer, Bill Hampel, Mike Schenk and more, something happened that reiterated my reasons for involving myself so fully in this movement…and that also has a few in the movement scared for the future.

On our last night together in DC at the closing gala, a group of credit union executives walked by.  As they passed, I overheard “Gosh, they sure are young, aren’t they?” 

Yes, I suppose we are young.  However, it isn’t just our youth that got us to the GAC.  We are passionate, innovative, fearless, and the leaders of the credit union movement of tomorrow who are trying to break the “young” mold in which we ostensibly find ourselves.

We are your coworkers, your peers, your employees, and, just as you do, we LOVE credit unions. 

Some of us are the managers you chose to run your branches, others are your chief financial officers, your marketing and business development executives, and your outreach officers. 

We are not only young.  We are just as you were when you first started out in your career.  We are excited, we are motivated, and we want our own credit unions, as well as the movement, to succeed just as you do.

The “Crash” program was just a door opening for us – an introduction.  We each have ideas to make our credit unions and the industry a better place, and began taking action on that immediately when we got back to our home states.  We’ve only taken our first steps. 

We are committed to the hard work we have in front of us, and want to make a difference.  We are young, but we are also the future. 



Does social media make us more productive?
created 01/13/2011

Already this year, I have read many blog posts, Facebook “notes”, and Tweets by friends who are posting their “To-Do” lists for 2011 out there for all to see.  It got me thinking about accountability.  Is this the reason we post such things online? 

Recently I had a friend complete the P90X program, and he posted every day about the workout he had done that morning.  His reasoning?  “If I post about it, I have to keep doing it and I have to finish or my friends will see that I failed.”

Are we more likely to accomplish goals, both personal and professional, if we use social media like Facebook and blogs to set and track our goals?  Like anything else, revisiting those goals on a regular basis increases our likelihood of success.  In the social media world, that means posting our progress regularly – daily or weekly.  If we don’t share them, are we less likely to meet those goals?

Don’t discount the social aspect of it either.  What about feedback from others?  The reason I hire a personal trainer isn’t for the workouts necessarily.  I could easily find the routines I need to do online or in a fitness magazine.  I hire one because I know he’ll be at the gym waiting for me (which sometimes means I have to get off the couch and venture into the cold!), and also because of the support – because he pushes me beyond what I think I can do alone.  Hearing “c’mon Amanda, just two more! You can do it” is somehow just what I need to get me through.

Is social media the same way?  My friend, Charlie, has posted his 2011 “To-Do” list on his Facebook page and invited over 300 people to join the group.  Every day, words of support and encouragement from his group members are posted.  I haven’t talked to him directly about this, but I surmise that this feedback is going to keep him going, keep him accountable, and will make him more productive in accomplishing his goals.

Having trouble getting to that “goal weight” or accomplishing a lifelong goal/dream?  Try setting a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time Bound) Goal, and then posting it on your blog or Facebook page.  Not only will your friends/followers know what you’re doing, but also they’ll learn more about you and share in your successes along the way. 

I challenge you now.  If lack of accountability has been keeping you from reaching your goals, remove that obstacle and get going!  And don’t forget to Tweet!