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CUlead Spotlight: Sara Bass, Heartland Credit Union

We're excited to get to know the 2019 CUlead class – and we'd thought you would too! Each week, we'll feature one of these future leaders in our CUlead Spotlight. 

This week, we meet Sara Bass, assistant vice president of branch operations, Heartland Credit Union (Hutchinson, KS).

What is your favorite thing about working at a credit union?
The culture! It truly is a "people helping people" culture at HCU and it just feels good. I came from an industry where it was all about driving the bottom line — it was purely profits over people. Love the cooperative spirit!

What does true leadership mean to you?
It means motivating people to do difficult work. It is about removing your title and relying on the relationship you have built with your team to help move everyone in the right direction. I'm not big on titles or rank — you don't need a title to be a leader, you just have to know how to motivate people.

If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance of winning a medal for?
I smile a lot. I was coached very young on how being kind to others will get you much further than being negative or hateful. I could win a medal for smiling the most!

What do you wish you knew more about?  
I wish that I was an expert in ag lending as well as commercial lending. I find it very fascinating. Those loans are more like a "marathon" and less like a "sprint" to the finish line.

If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what rule would that be?
Focus on the member! Every. Single. Time. If you put all of your energy into creating a great member experience, you will build a tremendous amount of member loyalty and build repeat business without having to work at it.

P.S. The members of our CUlead Class are all attending their Day at the Capitol this month. Here are Sara and her fellow Kansas CUleaders at the Kansas Day at the Capitol! 




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