Live From The 1: Your Business Brickyard – Getting Back to the Basics

This entry was posted by Monday, 12 July, 2010
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This morning I had the pleasure of introducing Howard Mann, the President of  Brickyard Partners Inc.  Howard’s experience in leading his company out from under extremely difficult circumstances (following an economic downturn), is particularly applicable for credit unions today. How did he do it? By returning to basic principles.

During the session he recalled the rise, and subsequent fall, of his alma mater’s football team. Led by a new coach, the team had started out the year well by focusing on the basics: blocking, tackling, running hard and catching the ball. As their wins added up… their egos grew. Suddenly, they were dropping balls and fumbling passes; their winning streak ended. When asked how they would recover from the loss, the coach told reporters that he was sending his receivers “back to the brickyard.”

The “brickyard” he was referring to was a practice drill where receivers stood 20 feet apart and tossed an old, red brick, back and forth. The idea being that, “If you don’t pay close attention to the very basic skill of catching a brick, it will hurt–a lot.”

The same metaphor can be applied to credit unions. We need to go back to the basics and focus on executing them perfectly. One of the first steps in doing so, is to reconnect with our purpose. “Your purpose should be a true reflection of why you do what you do and what makes your business more fun to run. It should live at the intersection of what you truly do better than anyone else AND what your clients truly care about.”

As leaders in the movement, I turn this question over to you: What IS your credit union’s purpose? I look forward to hearing from you.

One Response to “Live From The 1: Your Business Brickyard – Getting Back to the Basics”

  1. Excellent point… staying true to the fundamentals of your organization helps guide it toward success and growth.

    I know it’s true in baseball… fielding ground balls and working on mechanics during practice may be boring, but it builds the basic foundation for success in more challenging situations.


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