Act Like a Shark: Keep Moving

Businesses are like sharks: If they don’t move, they die.

April 06, 2011
/ PRINT / ShareShare / Text Size +

What business are you really in?

In the financial services industry, the logical reasons members turn to us—our products, services, and convenience—are just the beginning of potential “relationships.”

Financial services are a commodity where, to a degree, certain products, services, and conveniences are expected.

For years, those in the fast-food industry thought they sold food. Then McDonald’s declared people weren't buying hamburgers, they were buying an experience.

Burger King disagreed. They knew they had a unique point of difference and pummeled McDonald's with, “We're flame broiled, not fried.” But Burger King's sales didn't increase.

Why? Because McDonald's was right: Fast-food hamburger restaurants aren’t in the burger business., a billion-dollar online shoe retailer, understands that customers don’t come to them to buy shoes. Rather, customers look to Zappos to solve problems, which is exactly what they do while having a ton of fun.

And let’s remember the words of Henry Ford: “If I'd listened to customers, I'd have given them a faster horse.”

Ponder this: Are you fulfilling members' needs or fulfilling their dreams? Do you know the difference?

Dare to fail to succeed

Few phobias are more powerful and widespread than the fear of failure. But consider that:

  • America’s best pro basketball teams lose the basketball every three minutes without taking a shot;
  • The world champion in baseball has to win only 57% of its championship games; and
  • Golfing legend Ben Hogan once said that in 18 holes, he usually hit two or three balls exactly as planned.

If you're doing anything worthwhile, you'll encounter failure. Understanding this will make it easier to move forward.

Make a move to do something. Monitor the results. Make adjustments along the way.

If you don’t succeed that time, simply click “reset” and move forward with more experience.

Ponder this: Will you dare to fail to pave the way for success?

Next: Just keep swimming

Be flexible with change

Marcy Stark
April 06, 2011 12:51 pm
Great article. It's important to move forward, make decisions, and execute new ideas to grow and survive in the financial arena. The key is not to depend on what we've always done but be flexible and ready for change.

Flag Comment as Offensive


Ken Schroeder, CBCP, VP Business Continuity, Southeast Corporate
April 20, 2011 10:38 am
Remember--to be successful: Maintain a Rigid State of Flexibility

Flag Comment as Offensive


April 20, 2011 11:22 am
Wonderful article Michelle. I started in the credit union industry in 1997 in the middle of HR 1151 – even with all the uncertainty surrounding us, we managed to keep moving. Perseverance and innovation were the driving factors that helped us to do more with less. Over the past year, I have seen that same creativity reignited. Credit union marketers and business development professionals are working harder than ever. Just looking at this year’s CUNA Diamond award winners is a testament to the amazing work that can be accomplished even in times of adversity. Congratulations to you and to all who are “fulfilling dreams.”

Flag Comment as Offensive

Post a comment to this story

What's Popular

Popular Stories

Recent Discussion

Who Should Be the 2015 CU Hero of the Year?

View Results Poll Archive