David Leusink, president/CEO of Bay Winds Federal Credit Union has announced that construction on its new Boyne City branch is underway at 308 N. Lake St. Company officials said It will “help lead the way in the revitalization of the NoBo (North Boyne) business district.” The branch will feature dialog stations, a state-of-the-art customer service concept. Construction is being facilitated through local contractors and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2012 at a cost of $1.4 million. At 9,000 transactions a month Bay Winds has outgrown its current facility in the Glen’s Plaza. Dialog banking will provide an ideal mix of technological efficiency in an environment of that fosters dynamic customer service. “We feel it optimizes the best of hi-tech and hi-touch,” said Leusink. The traditional teller line is being replaced with dialog stations thereby creating a side-by-side service environment that is more flexible, functional and consumer friendly. Attending a ground-breaking ceremony on Sept. 16 were CEO David Leusink, city officials, credit union board members and members of Team Boyne, the Main Street economic restructuring committee. Bay Winds website.
There have been numerous studies conducted on the benefits to
motivation and performance, of setting challenging goals. A quick search on Google Scholar will find almost all of them, including Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation: A 35-year odyssey. This blog
post describes the challenges that I’ve faced with motivation and how goal
setting has helped me to succeed.
High school and
university – last minute man
During high school and university I was a “last-minute man”.
If it wasn’t the last minute before an assignment was due, then chances were
good that I hadn’t even started the assignment, which I’d been given weeks ago.
I needed the fear of failing to motivate me to work, which obviously isn’t a recipe
Zero motivation –
Very early in my career I was working in a role that I detested;
I found the work boring and time seemed to crawl from 9am to 5pm. I visualized horrifically,
spending the rest of my life working eight hours a day, doing a job that I
hated and having nothing to show for it except a small amount of money. Needless
to say, I was seriously contemplating quitting my job.
A challenging goal –
the key to motivation
I’m not exactly sure what lead me there, but a few days into
that detested role, I began contemplating the following:
- What if I looked back on my career and didn’t just see the
money I had made, but saw the things that I had achieved?
- What if I could achieve something I’d be proud of in this
- What if I produced the most output, with the least errors?
What if I found ways of making the entire team more efficient?
- What if I were the best employee that this team had ever
And that became my answer… being “the best employee ever”
was something I could be proud of and it motivated me to work and ultimately succeed,
all while enjoying my role.
Looking back now, it wasn’t the specifics of the goal that were important, especially as I had no way of knowing whether I was better than any of my predecessors, it was the fact that the goal was challenging and something that I really cared about that mattered.
Since that day, I have found ways to set relevant goals in many aspects of my life, not just in business and I am certain that it has contributed to my happiness. I encourage you to find your own challenging, yet worthwhile goals, with just one note of caution: be very careful when setting your goals and make sure to have fun!
I firmly believe in the benefits of having mentors and have
tried to build relationships with one of two, from each phase of my
career (i.e. leaders from various former roles and professors from my MBA).
Why find mentors:
A mentor is someone who is an experienced individual who is
able to provide guidance based on their wealth of experience. They’re able to help
you avoid potential pitfalls by providing a “been there, done that and this is
what I’ve learned” perspective.
One other benefit of mentors is that they’re likely to be
well connected (i.e. their friends/colleagues are in positions of power), which
is useful for a large number of reasons.
How to get a mentor:
The approach I’ve taken to gaining mentors is simply to ask
if they’d like to catch up in person or over the phone, to discuss career
development or creative problem solving. I make sure to book meetings or calls
with them at a frequency that is determined by their seniority. If I have a
mentor that is only a few rungs higher than me in business, then I might catch
up with them monthly, whereas someone who is a leader in industry, I might only
catch up with them briefly, once every three months.
If you’ve read my post on the right way to network, you’ll know
to make sure that the relationship provides value for both parties. If a mentor
offers you advice, be sure to consider it and if it’s appropriate, act on it.
In my experience, mentors like to know that they’re being listened to and that
they aren’t wasting their time.
I have noticed that the best mentors often had excellent
mentors themselves when they first built their businesses or made progress in their
careers. Many senior leaders, provided the time commitment is small, would love
to take someone under their wing to "pay forward" the support they received when
they were just starting out.
One of the most important factors in achieving success in any
business is an excellent reputation. The following five step process is a
simple model for building an outstanding personal brand.
1. Accurately assess what your personal brand currently
Spend some time reflecting on how you are currently perceived.
Consider the following:
a. How do people react to your suggestions in comparison to
b. Who in your office or business gets given the best work? If it’s not you, what is the reason?
c. What honest feedback have you received from someone you
2. Clearly define what you want your personal brand to represent
Write down some specific words or phrases that you want your personal brand to represent. Aim to make your personal brand clearly defined and easy
to understand. Consider the following:
a. What do you want your personal brand to represent?
b. Who do you respect? What specifically do you respect
c. What qualities would you look for when hiring or
3. Plan how you will build your personal brand
Outline a plan on how you will take your personal brand from
where it is now, to where you want it to be. Consider the following:
a. What things are inside your control to change?
b. Who can help you?
c. What are the drivers of your brand? For example, if you
aim to be seen as trustworthy or reliable, ensure that you do exactly what you
say you will do.
As is becoming a common theme in this blog, Action Trumps Everything; take a concrete step right now towards improving your personal
This is perhaps the most important step: measure your progress. (i.e. Go back to Step 1 and accurately assess what your personal brand now represents).
As you progress in your career or build your
business, remember that you will be judged, fairly or unfairly, on everything
you do and the way you do everything.
The Three Islands concept below is a metaphor that can
benefit anyone, from those who are just starting out in their careers, or have recently
launched a business, right through to those who are managing a successful
The Three Islands
Visualize three islands (A, B and C), each with the exact
same resources (e.g. people, water, minerals, trees, etc.)
- The people on Island A consume
all of their resources and throw a giant party – conditions on the island are fantastic!
- The people on Island B consume most of their resources and
use the rest to maintain their island
– conditions on the island are pretty good.
- The people on Island C consume some of their resources and invest the majority in improving their
island (establishing running water, supplying heat etc.) – conditions on the
island are okay.
--- time passes… ---
- Sadly, almost all the people on Island A are now deceased and
life is hard for those that remain – conditions
on the island are horrible.
- Life on Island B is exactly the same as it was years ago – conditions on the island are pretty good.
- The people on Island C are celebrating, as they are now
reaping the benefits of their earlier investment – conditions on the island are fantastic!
Obviously no one wants to live their life like the people on
Island A, but I encourage you to find the right balance between Island B and
Island C for you. Be sure to think more broadly than just how you use your
income; also consider how you use your time (both inside and outside of business),
as well as how and when you will retire.
I first learned about the Three Islands concept when
studying my undergraduate degree in business and am very grateful, as I feel
that the application of its lessons has contributed immensely to my success.