The CUInsight Experience  Podcast Artwork Image
The CUInsight Experience
Jim Nussle - Setting the Table for Credit Unions (#1)
January 11, 2019 CUInsight/Jim Nussle

“Hopefully Don Henley doesn’t listen to your podcast.”  –  Jim Nussle

Welcome to episode one of The CUInsight Experience. Hosted by Randy Smith, co-founder and publisher of In each episode we’ll have wide ranging conversations with thought leaders from around the credit union community. What issues are facing credit unions? What are they working on to help? What leadership lessons and life hacks have they learned along the way? What’s the greatest album of all time? These questions and more will be asked and answered.

The goal of The CUInsight Experience is to dive deeper with the people of the credit union community and find the gems we can all learn from.

Our guest today is Jim Nussle (@Nussle). Jim is president and CEO of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the largest national financial services trade association in the country advocating on behalf of over 6,000 credit unions and 110 million credit union members.

Prior to CUNA, Jim was the president and CEO of Growth Energy, a trade association of renewable energy companies. In 2007 he was appointed by President Bush as the 36th director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Jim is a native Iowan and served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991-2007.

Read more about this episode and links from the podcast here:

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1:0:06Oh, part of union community. My name is Randy Smith. I am one of the Co founders and the publisher of [inaudible] Dot Com, and we could not be more excited to bring you the first episode of our bod guests, the cu insight experience. The goal of the podcast is to have wide ranging discussions with thought leaders from around the credit union community, the people we get to work with on a daily basis. Folks, we've met over the years at credit union conferences to really pick their brain and see if we can't find some nuggets that we can share with you on this first episode. We were lucky enough and we are grateful to have Mr Jim Nussle, the president and CEO of Cuna. He was willing to be our Guinea pig over his holiday season, which we are so thankful for and you will see in the discussion that we talk about everything in the beginning from Pune is advocacy efforts.

Speaker 1:0:58The big winds from 2018, the hopes for 2019, what Cuna does for credit unions on a daily basis. We then move into GAC. Jim was extremely excited about the lineup, what the credit union community can expect from this year's Gac and his hopes on what we'll all take home and back to our credit unions after the event is over. From there we talk about leadership and life hacks. I think you'll really enjoy when I asked Jim about how when he kind of butts up against a challenge, does he bring himself back together and think about things a little bit differently. It was a cool part of the conversation and then in the final section, which will be a staple in every one of our podcast, we asked rapid fire questions. We have had a blast putting these together and kind of putting the guest on the spot where we get to know them a little bit about yourself, the questions or rapid the answers don't have to be, but that's a lot of fun, so make sure you listen to all the way through. Without further ado though, I will not take up anymore of your time. Let's just get to the good stuff. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Jim Nussle.

Speaker 2:2:05Jim, thanks for joining us today. Our first ever, so you insight experience, you know, I wanted to jump right into questions. I will throw this out. Congratulations to you and Ryan. I saw the hill article where you were named top lobbyists in Washington, so congratulations. That's awesome. Thank you. Thank you very much. And that kind of where I wanted to get started was, you know, again since we're in December right now, the idea that like the midterms just happened and we just saw that. I'm not even sure what you call up with the president and the leaders of the Democratic Party, but when you look at what Cuna is doing, we think of activists to see a lot around gac and it seems like around elections and when you guys have big wins, but could you share with credit union community what Cuna does and your team does on a day to day basis throughout the course of the year for credit unions? So from my standpoint, where I sit and what I try and instill in my team and what I know they instill in me is that we want to be single day the

Speaker 3:3:00champions for credit unions and so many different ways, whether that's maybe it's in the halls of Congress, maybe it's at the NCUA, maybe it's in a media interview, maybe it's out in the states at the state capital and attacks fight or in the marketplace as we try and face consumers and and encourage them to open their eyes to credit unions. That's what we want to do is we want to every day, every way be the champion for credit unions and the challenges they are facing today and in the future and the opportunities that they have as well to serve a whole new generation of Americans. Do you have any, I guess favorite wins, big wins this year? I know there's been quite a few. I would say. So this is the interesting thing and in fact I just had the opportunity to to say this to my board, if you, if you were looking at an association down the street and that association could report to you that in one year I in fact, how about in three years that they protected existential tax status at the national level.

Speaker 3:4:01Number one, that we did battle together with our lead partners in Iowa in this instance to protect the tax status at the state level and we also got regulatory relief in a bipartisan way through a completely dysfunctional congress and the political environment in Washington. That would be enough for an association to have as part of their plan for three or five years. The fact that we as a system, Cuna League's credit unions, professionals all working together, system partners as well. Cuna mutual has been instrumental in this partnership that we were able to do that in just one year is phenomenal and that's not even all we did. You take on some of the fights we did in the courts over data breaches and overprotecting the expanse of the membership of the field of membership. So we were doing so many other things, but just those three alone are kind of for any association up good enough to do in three years.

Speaker 2:5:04Yeah. That's like I said the big wins. Right. So, but I was thinking of like people are so it seems like whether in Washington or on main street it doesn't very divided like the line in the sand, the side. So that idea of you represent your constituents are credit unions and that means working with both sides of the aisle to get the agenda passed. So I was really like how do you as the leader of Cuna and you know the credit union system in Washington, how do you know, Kinda keep your constituents credit unions motivated for the greater credit union. Good. And what that might mean. Supporting financial even and you know, through the packs or working with people that are on the opposite side of the aisle and we're personally, they may want nothing to do with that. To me it seems like just the challenge, right, like you have to deal with on a daily basis

Speaker 3:5:53can be. But I think that the challenge is self motivating, meaning that I think credit unions have seen the challenges with overregulation, the war, the war for talent, uh, in the marketplace, the need to pure network, uh, the compliance challenges. I think that's enough motivation right there for them to be engaged. And so I have a, I have maybe the easiest job of all in motivating. I think they're self motivated and I, I walked into this association knowing, having been on the receiving end of that motivation and advocacy and so, you know, the first chance I had it was just a matter of how do you harness that and do the best you could to nurture that. But I think the invite, you're right, I mean, it's a very tribal environment politically now and I, I, uh, it's frustrating for someone who came from public service and saw the good in public service and how even in sometimes partisan ways, sometimes bipartisan ways you could accomplish things.

Speaker 3:6:54Now no one's accomplishing anything or it's very difficult to accomplish much at all and I think that's when it becomes difficult to motivate because people wonder whether what they're doing makes a difference and I can report to you that after the year we just had, as I said, you know, taking on the banks at the national level, at the state level and then passing regulatory relief. Probably the biggest bill we've ever passed certainly since 11, uh, 1151 I would say is a lot of motivation to fire up the advocacy army to go into the next battle that's coming up with JC. What the will touch on next. I mean getting everybody together, but just stick with that a little bit. I do think it's going to be more difficult over the next few years. What that environment or you know, fresh off the winds over the past year. Is that like momentum that can continue?

Speaker 3:7:43Well, no, it's interesting. What I've always been impressed with randy in credit unions were bipartisan by nature. We have, we have champions on both sides. I was amazed the first time I sat down with our PAC committee and went through that, that very first election year that I was here and truly magically it didn't, not because we were deliberate about it, we came out almost exactly even to the dollar of Republicans that were supported in Democrats that were supported because not because we were trying to, but because we have that much bipartisan support. So even from this last election, even though there was upheaval, even though there is change of leadership in the house and changes in the, in the Senate as well, I think credit unions not only have a seat at the table as a result of the work that we've done, I actually believe we help set the table because of the work that we did in each state, each district, every Senate race that, uh, that we were involved with.

Speaker 3:8:41I think we involved in 388 races and they weren't just to support our champions. So I'll give you an example. My former district, we had a republican, so I was a republican. So this is my successors, a Republican did. We went after because he did not support credit unions, so we supported, even though he was an incumbent, we supported his Democratic challenger, a young legislator, a young woman, legislator from Iowa, and we beat them and as a result of eating that incumbent, I think we also send a signal there. We're going to support our friends, but if you, if you're going to cross us, we're going to come after you too and I think I will just say from my own experience that supported the good motivation every once in a while, theory is not a bad motivation to throw into the mix. That's, that's an interesting story for me.

Speaker 3:9:33I really liked the idea that that was your old district and that was my old district and most people probably are a little disappointed in me that I want after a Republican, but I, you know, that's what you do because I'm partisan for credit. Unions have to be. I don't have to be party partisan, but I'm partisan for credit unions. That's for sure. That's awesome. Not only in the past couple of years since you've been with Cuna, but even beforehand, you mentioned it a little bit earlier. How is Washington changed? I guess since you first showed up there, you know, I think the media, social media and the media in general and I, and that's not meant to blame the media. I think that's overblown and overplayed, but the difference today is that, you know, you can pick your channel if you don't like the message on one channel, you can pick a channel that you agree with and not necessarily here an opposite side or a different side or a different perspective that's different from.

Speaker 3:10:25And then it's all the time. Twenty four slash seven and then you add in social, which can be very mean, very, uh, negative. I mean, extremely. In some instances you add that into the mix. It makes it. And I don't want to just blame the media because the politicians have responsibility as I did. I'm, I don't come into this with clean hands as though I never was partisan, but, but we also knew that there was a moment in time because I was the budget chairman in the, in the House of Representatives, and then I was in the White House as budget director. There was no way to pass a budget night past six of them. There was no way to pass one unless you were working with everybody. That's probably the toughest thing to pass. And to even have any chance of doing that in the House of Representatives in particular, you've pretty much, uh, uh, you know, had to, had to work all, all sides of the equation.

Speaker 3:11:17One thing I'd add though too, so this most recent, what president trump was referring to as the, as the Schumer and Pelosi, a Oval Office in counter. To me, I look at that, yes. I mean there are people who are shaking their head and there it goes. Washington again, it's dysfunctional. I actually am encouraged by the fact that in the biggest, strongest, most powerful country in the world, that somebody can lock into the Oval Office. And and in a respectful way, some may disagree if it was respectful, whatever, speak truth to power and challenge the leader of free world and you don't. I'll tell you what, name me another country where that's that obvious or accessible, and I think that's the beauty of America and our political system that whether you're Nancy Pelosi and the next speaker of the house or you're Jim Nussle or a credit union advocate, you can come to Washington and poke your finger in the chest representatives and say, I want you to listen to something that's, that's important to the people that you represent. That's pretty important.

Speaker 2:12:25Has there been a change over the past few years in credit unions?

Speaker 3:12:29I'm certainly not the person that had coined this phrase. I think actually Thomas Friedman may be the author of this phrase in his new book. I'm sorry for being late, but he called it the age of acceleration. Meaning that everything is happening faster and faster and the acceleration of change, of disruption, of innovation, of technology, of a diy consumer demands it's happening faster every single day and every time you have a new entrant, the fact that I can shop from my smart phone for Christmas as an example and have it delivered within a day or two days to my front door wrapped and ready to stick under the Christmas tree makes it just as challenging. When a member of a credit union walks into a branch or wants to interact with their credit union, maybe to get a small small loan or something like that. Their demand is, well, gosh, I can click through with Amazon or I can even talk to my Alexa, which is why I did that at the GAC.

Speaker 3:13:34Or just, you know, hey Alexa, what's a credit union? That's their expectation now. Well, if they can expect that from Amazon and they can expect it from anybody else, you're darn right. It's going to change the expectation of a consumer or a member of a credit union when they walk into their financial services and it's only accelerating. So that would be, to me, the biggest change I've seen and I know that, so to me, credit unions are uniquely positioned because we know our member the very best and we have the opportunity because we know them to meet them where they want us to meet them, to serve their needs, but you know, some, some need to accelerate their change within their credit union to make sure that happens.

Speaker 2:14:19It's so interesting what you're talking about. They're on the plane. Yesterday I was listening to a podcast and they had the CEO of Walmart on there and he was talking about. It was so interesting from a corporate level, their message where internally there they like to think there's still that company from Arkansas, you know, type of thing, but he's like, we're a digital company and an analytics company. But the way he was talking about like as a leadership team, they feel like they're positioned well because they know their customers, but yet they have to change that so much as well where, you know, he's like, what we're doing today will be different a year

Speaker 3:14:52from now. So you all across the industry to speak to what you're speaking of. It's just a constant change and stuff. Yeah. That's interesting. If we were to jump into the time machine, it's a year. We're setting down maybe in person this time next year or something of that nature. Right? We're talking about what your greatest accomplishment, what cute his greatest accomplishment was of 2019. What do you hope to be? I would say we're, we're always focused on our four pillars. We're trying to and the one hand reduced regulatory burden or make it consistent and predictable. And uh, so that would be definitely number one. Next is data security and cybersecurity and recognizing that we're living in this new data world and, and the expectations are different. And uh, and so that would be a whole other bucket. We want to expand the powers of credit unions to be able to serve our members and members of the future in whole new ways.

Speaker 3:15:49Uh, we blew the lid off of a member business lending this last year with the changes that we made to the point where it's practically not an issue for many credit unions. That's a huge opportunity, uh, but there are challenges there too. So how do we, where are the next challenges that we can create opportunities for credit unions to serve our members and their communities and last but not least are the table stakes and protecting the tax status, but also at the state level. That's where the challenge is going to be. I think this year we may see it again in Iowa. I know we're going to have a challenge in Wisconsin and I would also keep an eye on Kentucky and we're together with those legs already doing battle on behalf of the credit unions in that area, including the credit unions in that area. Let's jump ahead to JAC biggest event.

Speaker 3:16:35Obviously you and try to get into the lab, you know, the governmental affairs conference. What can people expect this year at Gac? Well, you know, so first we have some, some cool a keynote speakers. Uh, John Kerry is going to come and speak. Last year we had George W dot Bush and he was so engaging. What a fun experience that was for me even. I mean I worked for them, but that doesn't, it just was fun. And I hope we have a similar experience with, with John Kerry. I mean last year one when George W dot Bush, or a few maybe Democrats who thought, Eh, I'm not sure I really want to see that. And they loved it this year. I've had a few Republicans say, well, I'm not sure about. Trust me, you're going to love this. These people, they're human beings. They have some great experience. They're real people. Uh, they want to share those experiences with us and I think you will be both entertained, but also I think enlightened by that.

Speaker 3:17:28And then Malcolm Gladwell we've got. So we've got a bunch of, of great folks who can give us some perspective about the challenges that lay ahead in advocacy but also in other areas. And we're going to have more great news about the rollout of the, of the new awareness effort of open your eyes. We want to open as many eyes next year, hundreds, millions of people to open their eyes to credit unions that have maybe maybe open their eyes before but didn't consider us. We want them to consider credit unions in the future so we can expand our market.

Speaker 2:18:02I had that written down to ask you about having your former bosses there last year, if that was a. That had to be quite the experience, right? Just to have that conversation on stage. And I remember as people were leaving it, no matter what their political affiliation was, I just really enjoyed that. Like people I think were even surprised by just how good humor that was and everything like that. And my guess is that was part of it was his relationship with you. So that'd be a lot of buttons.

Speaker 3:18:26He threw me a curve. So when we first set it up, his people had said, you know, he'll come out and give a little speech and then you can come on and ask them some questions. Well, the first thing he did was he didn't want to make a speech. He said, let's just talk. Okay. And written out. I had written just to kind of, maybe it was nervousness, I don't know, but I had written out nine questions. I only asked one the rest of the time. It was just, it was kind of this free form, you know, where we. Well we, oh, well now that you mentioned that, let's go here. Well, let's go there. I mean, so it was a, it was a great experience. And as I think people, people got to see the, the. I'm going to say this, it may sound disrespectful. I get, they got to see the guy I got to see as the United States, but he's a human being. And as a dad, he's a husband, he's a son. As we as we just saw with his dad passing away. So and Gosh, we need more of that authenticity from our public peep. If we did, I think we would have, I don't know, maybe maybe that's just a pie in the sky, but I think we'd be better off if we saw more of that.

Speaker 2:19:30Well, the human side, right? Absolutely. Again, that's I would say is one of these questions. It's that idea of like when you're walking up every year, you get this opportunity to kind of welcome everybody to do in my mind that would kind of set the tone for what's to come. You have self-talk superstitions before you go onstage because my guess is that's the largest audience for credit unions each year. When you walk out there that very first time, you kind of mentioned before President Bush came out there and how you prepared for it might have been different than if it was somebody else. Is there something you do every year when you're getting ready to come out there?

Speaker 3:20:06Well, yes. A great question. I mean, first of all, it will surprise you and probably anybody sitting in the audience to learn that I am. I tend to, uh, test is an introvert, so I gained my strength or my battery recharge internally, so I read a lot. I've Read Probably 15, 20 bucks this last year as an example, and everything from the biography of Bruce springsteen and, and uh, and Keith Richards to like I was saying, you know, Keith Richards biography as a fantastic one that I read that last year and Bruce springsteen to, I mean they're, they're amazing, they're really amazing. But anyway, so that's where I get my energy from and I don't necessarily get it from standing in front of 5,000 people. So I guess preparation is important for me. I tend to write out my speech, I write my own. I don't try and rely on others, although I do bounce ideas.

Speaker 3:21:01And then the second thing I do is I've involved Karen, my wife, Karen, involved in these. Every year we've come out together to do something to try and set the tone. Everything from the first year we did that goofy house of cards because I was brand new and the lockup music too, by the way. People don't maybe pay as much attention to, but my first year I did the WHO? Who are you? Because I had no one knew who I was, so music I did pick every once in a while, so I do those kinds of things and then I want to try and get people to think and the whole conference is about that too, but that's why I did the, you know, putting an Alexa on the stage and I, I'm told I'm the first one that has ever interviewed an Alexa on the stage anywhere with this Alexa and say, tell me what a credit union is telling me where I can find one.

Speaker 3:21:51You know, all of these things, but it's a way to get people to think and say, wow huh. I hadn't thought of that. That's interesting. I see where he's going with that. And so it's those kinds of. I don't know if it, if it works, some, some probably like that. Some are saying, okay, bring on George W dot Bush. I'm, I'm done with this new things on that. I'm with you on. It surprises people about me that I am. I consider myself an introvert that plays an extrovert. I've always needed to bring it back and take some time away. This is my favorite bar room question. We were just talking about the WHO and the Bruce springsteen book and stuff like that. Greatest rock and roll album in your opinion in front of that. You don't skip a song. What is it? Oh, for me it's the, uh, it's the eagles and it's the best of the egos.

Speaker 3:22:35I mean, so if you were on, uh, the, the other way they ask the question is, so if you were stranded on a desert island, what's the one album you would want to wish you and I'm, I'm an eagles fan. I'm from the very beginning. I love the acoustic. I play guitar and I play Acoustic. If I go to anything, it's more acoustic than electric, so I would say probably the eagles and I just saw them probably for the last time they just played with James Taylor here in Washington and Karen and I went and had really nice seats and and and Glen Fry son is now the lead for passed away, but I think they're just cashing checks now. I'm not sure they're doing what they used to do in Jim's humbled. Finland doesn't watch your podcast. I'm sure he won't, but you never know. You may have a big interest in credit unions, but let's say one last thing about JC.

Speaker 3:23:28If you had to pick one thing this year that you hope the credit union community goes home with, what is it? Well, I know they're going to go home with advocacy. I know that that's kind of almost table stakes. So telling our story about the credit union difference becomes kind of the table stakes. The other one that I, they go with as kind of the extra credit. The Cherry on top is opening America's eyes to credit unions. We have a great new effort to brand platform and first rollout campaign. It's gaining a lot of good momentum throughout the states and with credit unions contributing to this effort. It's going to be digital, so it's not just broadcast on television going wherever it goes. It's actually surgically placed digitally at the consumer's Beck and call when they're in the moment of making decisions about a car loan, joining a credit union, making a deposit, deciding they want a mortgage, things like that. So we've got a really cool operation and I hope people will pay attention to that. So those are, I would say those are two easy takeaways that I hope people leave the conference with.

Speaker 2:24:34I look forward to it every year. It's my favorite thing to go do and then I'm also ready to leave by Wednesday or Thursday. So switching gears, this is something that I want to continue on throughout the course of the year when I talk to people. So many smart people in Credit Union world is kind of on that leadership side. Again, probably the scratching my own itch I'd stuff I find interesting, but just some quick questions. What was it about credit unions originally that kind of drew you to take on the role of president and CEO of Cuna?

Speaker 3:25:02They make dreams come true for people and the mission is so central to everything. What our folks do at the heart of finances may seem like just a financial decision, but it is the nucleolus for everything. Making dreams come true, sending kids to college, having opportunities in the future, owning your own home, owning anything, owning a car, and then being able to retire with dignity. All of those dreams and kind of basics. Credit Unions get to be at the center of is their best financial partner and my gosh, the chance that we have to serve them and be their champion is a quite alluring plus. I also knew from a, from an advocate like me standpoint, this was the best, if not certainly one of the best advocacy organizations in the country and to have the chance to be part of that, let alone run it and lead it is a true honor.

Speaker 2:25:59Has that inspiration changed overall with time on the job or anything that's surprised you?

Speaker 3:26:03No, in fact, I went to d this last year in 2018, but I kind of feel like I'm now a credit union. Jed. I night, you know as though that's, you know, it's kind of self proclaimed. Of course I'm trying to be really a modest about this, but no, I really feel the difference and I think the more people who understand that understand the difference between we're a movement where we're not just an industry, it's different and if you understand the difference you can make in people's lives and the way you can move them, that truly is a movement. So I would say no, it has only grown in intensity as I've, as I've had the honor to be here with my hears me say fail fast, fail cheap, and then do it again. One more time. They probably want to poke me in the eye.

Speaker 3:26:48Do you have some line that your team, are they in every meeting? They're like, Jim, we know they're finishing your sentence. Oh, I mean I use the words, you know, growing is winning. I've always thought that's true about, but I have this on my desk and it's the same that I've had on my desk since I came to Washington and it says it's a quote that is attributed to Ronald Reagan and his signature is at the bottom and it says there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind. Who gets the credit. That's awesome. It is so true. I don't do anything here without a great team. Our superpowers are based on our cooperative principles. They're cooperative superpowers give us a chance to do things and impact people like nobody else, and our willingness to do that without caring who gets the credit is a blessing.

Speaker 3:27:44It can be a curse sometimes because we need to tell our story better and be willing to take a little bit of that credit, but it's so important and so I'm not sure if my staff would finish that sentence, but I can tell you this has been on my desk. I look at it everyday and it's been on my desk for, for 20 years ever since I came to uh, Washington and uh, it has, um, maybe I'm never. This immodest I've met are modest or I hope I am, but I also know I don't do anything by myself. I've, I've got a great team and that's the only way you get anything done. But for sure that the next question, it's interesting. I plan on asking her, like I said, pretty much everybody that I bring on the show, but for you, I feel like there was almost three parts of it in the sense of how do you keep your message from a leadership standpoint to your team for us, but also, I mean, how does your team then keep the message fresh to credit unions and then how do you keep the credit union message brush to watch as well?

Speaker 3:28:40So here's another saying that, and I don't know where I stole this from, but I, I realized I did not make this up, but there is a advice that communicators give. And again, I'm not sure where I got this, that the only way to communicate or the only way for your, for your message to sink in is if you say it or communicate it seven times, seven ways. People don't always hear it the first time you say it, you need to say it just a little different the next time and maybe by the fourth time they've it first hit them, but it will take almost seven times before it completely sinks in. And you've got it. That's a long way of saying that I think what we should realize is that we need to. Communication is a constant. It's not a one and done. It's not a drop the mic effort ever. And even if you change it up a little bit every single time, I think it's important to repeat messages. Stay consistent with those principles and messages if you want it to sink in and if you want it to have any impact.

Speaker 2:29:44Yup. So is there anything that, like when you're facing a challenge, you and your team are working on something that you do to kind of keep moving that forward when you're kind of hitting up against the wall?

Speaker 3:29:54Yeah, I wouldn't do it in front of my team, but I literally my release both for stress and maybe to help me think as to play guitar because it's a right brain left brain kind of thing where I use a different part of the brain and it helps. I think. So for me it's yeah, it's music. Stepping away and stepping away and being able to think about it while you're doing something else will often help me deal with those kinds of challenges. So

Speaker 2:30:25awesome. Last question on the leadership I saw recently that you and Karen endowed a scholarship at your Alma Mater, so congratulations on that. That's awesome. Can you tell us a little bit more about that and like what motivated you at this point of life to that that was important to the two of you?

Speaker 3:30:40Giving back is I think for all of us important. You know, when you first get a chance to do that in your life, I don't care how big or small it is, you realize the joy that, that, especially if, if it isn't necessarily even attributed to you, so we don't have contact with the scholars. We want the school to make that decision. We want them to decide, uh, who is a, who has excelled but the real reason for me at every step along the way in my journey of my career and my learning path, there was always somebody there. Sometimes I knew them. Sometimes I didn't know him altogether well, but they gave me a shove. They gave me a push. Maybe it was a hand up. Um, gave me some encouragement. Some of them, I mean my mentor that, that, uh, that I would say is my mentor, that I can trace every step of my career path back to a conversation I had in college.

Speaker 3:31:34I still keep in touch with. And there are people along the way like that who helped me either encouragement, financially, whatever. And so now it's my turn and I think we all have that responsibility. If for no other reason, just to keep that chain going to, you know, to give back a little so it's a modest start. Hopefully we can build it over time and hopefully someday someone will be sitting in this chair that can say maybe not Jim did it, but somebody helped them. And one way I'm able to say that that's what I think both of us are trying to do. Well congratulations.

Speaker 2:32:10So the last chunk, just a few rapid fire questions and I'm going to skip down and actually one from that I thought it was going to end with, but I think it ties into the scholarship as you know, as you've gotten older, other things that have become more important to you and maybe some things but you're focused on earlier in life that didn't just become less important.

Speaker 3:32:26That's a great question. I mean certainly time, time is more important to me maybe than money and I mean I wish so. I, I probably always wanted to be a rock and roll guitar player and I finally have discovered that Youtube is the best teacher in the world for that. So spending time with music for me is it's become much more important probably than than ever before. Next one,

Speaker 2:32:50if you hear the word successful, who's the first person that comes to mind?

Speaker 3:32:55The first person. Wow. Outside of my family and my parents. We just celebrated the 70th birthday of the minister in the church that I grew up in. Seventieth birthday. Still a minister in the church where I grew up. I met him when I was 14 years old and he's been like a brother and certainly a mentor in addition to this, this career mentor and boy is he successful and he just. He loves life. He loves his family and he's a success. Don Orleans Tamburlaine is his name.

Speaker 2:33:25That is awesome. I love it. Last two, real quick. Every morning I started doing this a couple of years ago. First thing I do when I sit down and kind of dump everything out of my head onto a journal, I used to be sponsored by mole skin. I have them all over the house. If I don't do it any given day, my day kind of feels off like there's too much jumble I guess. Go. Do you have any rituals, any things you do daily?

Speaker 3:33:47I never have. I do not have any unopened emails in my inbox. The end of the day everyone is open. It may be flagged to read again or to do something with or whatever, but every, every email is open when I go to bed.

Speaker 2:34:08No, no popups and the phone or the. With that one. The last one and it was something you mentioned earlier, so I was glad I had this on your own. Like you. I'm a reader. I laughed because at our house we have a stack of books that's probably over knee high that we just keep hearing other people telling us about and you're like, which 1:00 AM I going to read next? We just keep buying them. But you mentioned you read 50 books last, probably around 15 bucks last year. Is there a book over your life or recently that you gifted to other people or that you recommend and just think everybody should read?

Speaker 3:34:38Well, the seven habits of highly successful people, maybe I don't practice always what I would preach or what certainly Stephen Covey preached. I actually got to meet Stephen Covey and got to visit with him about his book when I was in Congress, so that would be one I would certainly gift. The other one that comes to mind, I'm forgetting the exact title, but it's 90 days or success and it's a way to transition as a leader into a new operation. Those are two that I have gifted people because I think they're just outstanding ways to think, to organize your thoughts. Then you can go anywhere you can, you can use those principles to run a car company or you can run a credit union association, probably run a credit union or just organize your, your, you know, your whole life. Uh, so those are probably the two that immediately come to mind. There's probably better ones, but those are the two that come to mind.

Speaker 2:35:31I love it. I love it. If people have more questions of you, is that muscle on twitter the best way to get ahold of him?

Speaker 3:35:37That's fine. Or

Speaker 2:35:38were you can, you can certainly give them my email address, gain op Jay Muscle and use silly at Cuna Dot Co. We will have that in there too then. And then finally, uh, you knoW, again, thank you very much for taking the time. Do you have any final thoughts, any asks of the people that are listening before we sign off?

Speaker 3:36:00I would say probably, and I, I wish that John F. Kennedy hadn't said this because as soon as you say something like, they say, well, I know that you're not kennedy and I'm not, but he said, you know, ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country. And the same is really true for associations is that, you know, if somebody thinks that you hired jim nussle or Ryan Donovan or whoever it might be, and you kind of hope they go do it for us, they go, do they just go do that job so that we don't have to. That's not how this works. That our association is only strong, is only effective if we do it together. And part of my job is to remind you of those cooperatives superpowers that associations are what we do together and not what you hire somebody to go do for you. And that's an important kind of first principle that I know credit unions understand, certainly if anyone does, but, uh, it's just, I think it's a healthy reminder.

Speaker 2:37:00Oh, that's awesome. Great way to wrap it up. Thank you again, jim. I greatly appreciate it and we will see you in dc. It sounds good. Thanks randy. Thank you very much.

See All Episodes