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Position Yourself as a Thought Leader and Expand Your Impact

Jamilex Gotay, editorial associate, NACM

Thought leaders are the catalysts for change, influencing the trajectory of projects and initiatives in the workplace. The journey toward becoming a thought leader isn't just about personal development; it's a transformative force that drives success, enriches workplace culture and propels organizations toward new heights of achievement.

By joining one or several of NACM’s Thought Leadership Groups, credit professionals can learn to have a greater impact on their companies and give input on strategic business decisions. These groups can lead to lifelong mentorship opportunities to establish yourself or emerge as a credit leader. NACM’s monthly Thought Leadership Groups cover the following topics:

· Performance Metrics: drive confident, data-backed credit decisions and measure performance.

· Construction Credit: explore the nuances of the construction industry, from suppliers to general contractors.

· Global Credit Leaders: discuss the challenges faced with international credit and learn from others who extend credit globally.

· Credit Leaders: experts in credit who strategically guide their teams and lead with authenticity.

· Technology Leaders: for those who aspire to better their processes and want to use technology more strategically. Discuss automation, portals and dashboards.

· *NEW* Emerging Leaders: As an emerging leader, your insights hold the power to shape the future. Secure your spot among the next generation of remarkable leaders.

Credit professionals who routinely attend and participate in Thought Leadership Groups have added value to their credit career in various ways. “I’ve listened in on many discussions where people are brainstorming or talking about best practices,” said Esther Hale, ICCE, senior analyst and treasury-global credit at Phillips 66 Company (Bartlesville, OK), who actively attends the Global Credit Thought Leadership Group. “I take some of those ideas and find where it could fit in my work. I’ve found it very valuable in the fast-paced world of global credit.”

The exchanging of ideas makes for stronger connections and helps you network with other credit professionals. Steven Winn, corporate credit manager at Marek Brothers Systems LLC (Houston, TX) is a member of the Construction Credit, Performance Metrics and Technology Thought Leadership groups. “Networking not only helps us in our work, but makes for a better experience when attending events,” he explained.

Discussion group participants are high-level credit managers from a diverse background of industries and skillets. However, most all credit managers share one goal. “There are common grounds, processes and procedures and because of that, we can learn from one another,” said Sam Smith, senior corporate and collections manager at Crescent Electric Supply Company (Hazel Green, WI), a founding member of the Construction Credit Thought Leadership Group. “When I have an ongoing issue within my company, I can make it a topic and if someone has knowledge to spare, they can lead the discussion. If not, we look for a resource to bring in and all learn together. From there, I take the information back and deploy it appropriately within my own company.”

Through the sharing of information and experiences, credit professionals can make better credit decisions and become stronger credit leaders. “The Global Credit Leaders group keeps me sharp and up to date on current innovations in the global credit world,” Hale said.

Merry Duan, senior strategic account analyst at Bayer Corporation (Saint Louis, MO) is member of the Credit Leaders and Technology Thought Leadership groups and finds it enhances her personal brand. “It exposed me to different industries and how other companies’ credit management operates,” she said. “I learn new tools every month for how to approach difficult situations or scenarios. I also learned more about skill development, career growth, problem solving, industry trends, collaboration, access to resources, diverse perspectives and mentorship.”

NACM’s Thought Leadership Groups meet for an hour virtually each month. All who participate can receive .1 CEU toward an NACM designation. You must be a member to join. For more information, click here or email Tracey Lerminiaux, director of education services, at

• *NEW* Emerging Thought Leaders will meet on the third Friday of each month at 2PM EST with its first meeting on Sept. 15. Secure your spot among the next generation of remarkable leaders!

• Technology Thought Leaders meet on the second Tuesday of each month at 2PM EST.

• Leadership Thought Leaders meet on the second Thursday of each month at 2PM EST.

• Construction Credit Thought Leaders meet on the third Tuesday of each month at 2PM EST.

• Global Credit Thought Leaders meet on the third Wednesday of each month at 3PM EST.

• Performance Metrics Thought Leaders meet on the third Thursday of each month at 3PM EST.

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