CU Reality Check Coverage: Going Long: Mike Useem Makes the Case for Making Long-Term Vision Part of Your Short-Term Strategy

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - Leadership makes a greater difference in dynamic, risky, or uncertain environments, according to Professor Mike Useem, the CUNA Mutual Group-sponsored keynote speaker for Reality Check.


Useem, Professor of Management and Director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management at the Wharton School, kicked off the conference Tuesday morning by asking the audience of leaders, “What leadership capacities make the difference?” Vision, courage, and confidence were some of the terms shouted out. In addition to those capacities, Useem pointed out that impactful leaders take ideas and put them into action.

Take CVS’s long-term commitment to “building healthier communities” and Charles Schwab’s early move into the Internet age as examples. CVS CEO Larry Merlo and Charles Schwab CEO David Pottruck took a chance by redefining the long-term vision of their organizations, which caused a few initial losses and setbacks, but now CVS and Charles Schwab are untouchable in their respective markets.

Through an example of the merger between IBM and Lotus, Useem provided a checklist both for leaders and high-performing teams, then tasked the leaders in the room to discuss and identify additional key leadership principles for “going long” that should be at the top of their lists for strengthening their credit unions during the coming year. 

Additional photos are available online here.