Looking back on 36 years as wife, mother and executive at Bank of America, I see how important relationships are. I’m pleased with the adults my children have become, and I’m happy that I never sacrificed time with them. They’re my
most important legacy.
Relationships are equally important at work. When I began my career, I thought all I had to do was deliver results. Fortunately, I had mentors who said it’s about relationships and how you get results, not just the results themselves.
Once you get this quarter’s results, it’s on to the next quarter. How are you going to get those results without relationships? I believe that I’m most successful when people who work with me are successful as well, and we are all in the relationship, working together.
Building and sustaining relationships can take many forms: taking 30 minutes to speak with a new associate and help make the bank an easier place to navigate and succeed; offering another associate encouragement when the pressure is on; asking the right questions to set an associate on the right path; or helping another achieve their potential.
My career at Bank of America has given me the opportunity to represent the bank in the community and to do what’s right for both. Being on the boards of various organizations has let me tackle critical questions in the community and be an advocate for people needing help and hope. These service opportunities also have introduced me to people I might never have otherwise engaged, and I’ve developed long-lasting relationships with many of them.
My experiences have taught me how corporate America can drive change. The government can’t change people—neither can laws. But when you’re in an organization like Bank of America, where diversity is a dynamic value and embraced each and every day, you can literally see change in the making. In such an environment, each individual brings his or her own perspective to a situation where it is welcomed and valued. By listening to each other and hearing different points of view, we often find new solutions to familiar challenges. Everyone leaves the room with a new approach and a new perspective. And isn’t that what change is all about?
Building and sustaining relationships, embracing diversity, seeking solutions, creating change. It’s a formula for success in any organization.