The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

People Come Before Profits

On August 23rd, 2010, posted in: Uncategorized by

To borrow from modern-day lexicon, I had another one of those “V-8 moments” this past weekend.  One of life’s happenings hit me square in my consciousness.  I got all “chicken-skin” and went much deeper into my introspective being than the more common daily thought of “what’s for lunch?”  What was said immediately after Pastor Jeff so eloquently stated the mind-numbing revelation that changed my weekend is unknown to me.  My focus for the day had been established, and it was far from superficial.

He spoke of what the world would be like if the idealistic thought that our self-esteem, both individually and corporately, would be of such a high level that we would always think of others first.  As I lurched up in my seat like someone had thrown a bucket of cold water down my back, I was moved by the thought of what such a beautiful world would look like.  Imagine doing first for one another, unselfishly and filled with agape love.  You talk about a great place to be.  Sometimes, the world looks so crazy that you think it’s going to spin off its axis.  It is settling to think of the antithesis.

It would appear to me that way too many people are considerably more pre-occupied with themselves rather than their neighbor.  I know that’s the case in the business world.  “Make a profit for the stockholder” is the primary motivator which completely negates any idea of corporate America switching to the noble idea of being primarily concerned for the other guy.  Isn’t it telling that the newly enacted financial reform legislation signed into law by President Obama was designed to do just that: shift the balance back to the consumer?  Whether it works or not, only time will tell.  I’m betting that it won’t.  In fact, I think it will be the catalyst for even greater disregard for our fellow man.  See, when regulation increases, costs are passed on to the consumer – the exact opposite intent of this 2,100- page legislative behemoth.

St. Louis Community Credit Union operates with a great deal of corporate self-esteem.  We feel good about who we are, what we stand for, how we do it, and why we exist.  We exist only to serve our members; to increase their standard of living and better their lifestyle; and to help people.  We are a not-for-profit financial cooperative.  Stir all of that idealism into the pot and you can see why there is no better business model to achieve this altruistic idea of thinking of people first.  “People helping people” is what we do.

Our CFO, Kirk, provides a steady reminder to our corporate leadership that because of our business model we must be prudent.  The money we spend is our members’ money.  As a result, we must be frugal, considerate and compassionate in our decision-making.  In essence, we must think of our members first.

We’ve been focused at St. Louis Community Credit Union to practice what Pastor Jeff preaches.  And he is right.  Doing for our members first makes for a better world.  It seems backwards to making big profits, but not really.  If you look in the dictionary, people always come before profit.

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