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Co-op Directors Urged To Put Purpose in Action

January 11, 2013

Texas Electric Cooperatives kicked off 2013 with the Directors Conference in Austin on Jan. 8–10 by encouraging directors and staff to get to work doing what co-ops do best—empowering the members.

In his industry update, TEC President/CEO Mike Williams told about 185 directors and staff that electric cooperatives can be successful and sustainable in the 21st century by doing what they do best. "By being ourselves," he stated.

Elaborating, Williams said cooperatives need to focus on their core purpose. "What we are really about is improving people's lives," he said, explaining that when members understand and respect an organization's reason for existing, they are loyal. Earning loyalty is key to being competitive in the changing electric industry.

Haley Rushing, co-founder of the Purpose Institute with ad agency GSD&M's Roy Spence, explained that an organization's purpose should guide actions, foster innovation, inspire employees and pave the path to high performance. Co-ops' purpose, as suggested by the NRECA's 21st Century Committee, is "to power communities and empower members to improve the quality of their lives."

"When we demonstrate that we are authentically concerned about our members—when we power communities and empower members to improve the quality of their lives—that is when we are at our best and what will make us successful in the 21st century," Williams said.

The 2014 Directors Conference is slated for Jan. 6–8 in San Antonio.