IQ. Everyone wants a high one (kind of like having a high score in Angry Birds or Dots). We also want those working for us to have high IQs. After all, if your employees aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer, then more likely your organization is also underperforming. Your credit union or bank will only succeed as much as your employees succeed.

However, the term “IQ” is more than just short hand for intelligence quotient. When referencing IQ, I’m talking about your influence quotient. The term influence quotient refers to how many people or groups you are influencing.

So what is your credit union’s or bank’s influence quotient? How deep and wide does that influence go? Your financial institution should be more about people than profit (although profit certainly isn’t a bad thing at all).

Here are some questions to answer as you calculate your influence quotient:

  • How are you giving back to the community—I’ve yet to come across a local bank or credit union that says it’s not about the community. Well, prove it. Calculate dollars given, hours spent and aid rendered. Giving back to the community is more than doing good deeds occasionally or when the budget isn’t so tight. Those financial institutions with the highest IQ have community giving as part of their culture and DNA. Check out this video clip from Coca-Cola as a great example.
  • How are you growing your employees—We shouldn’t just give to our community. We should also give to our employees. So, how are you honestly treating your folks? A great
    deal of your credit union’s or bank’s influence is directly tied to your influence with your own employees. What is it like to work for your financial institution? Do people want to come to work for you or do they want to leave you? Look at your health care plan, your benefit package, and your training program. The more you invest in your employees, the higher your IQ.
  • How are you spending your time—Giving to your community (and raising your influence) is more than just writing a check to a charity. Much more. Ways to deepen your influence quotient include allowing employees paid time off (during their work week) to volunteer at a non profit, serving at a soup kitchen as a group, building a house with Habitat for Humanity and doing other similar activities. One of the best ways to increase your IQ is to give the gift of time.
  • What are you doing to help people—Are there things you are doing for people that others simply are not. Maybe it’s approving a loan for someone down on their luck, opening a second chance checking account for a consumer who made a few mistakes, or refunding a fee rather than standing behind a policy.

True leadership is all about influence. If you want your bank or credit union to be a leader in the marketplace, then start by raising your influence quotient.