Meet the team lead: Bo Scott shares lessons on leadership
Bo Scott joined UMB Bank nearly nine months ago as executive vice president and commercial team lead for Colorado and has already made a tremendous impact on our team and our Veterans Engagement Task Force.
Bo recently shared his story with the Denver Business Journal, but we wanted to learn more. Read on to see how Bo has used his military experience to succeed as a leader in the financial world.
Where did you grow up, and how did you find your way into banking from the U.S. Army?
I was born in Chicago and grew up in Peoria, Ill. When college came around, I went to Southern Illinois University where I played football. During my junior year of college, I enrolled in the military to help pay for school and think about what I wanted to do long-term.
I served in the U.S. Army for six years in psychological operations out of Fort Bragg, where I completed deployments to more than 20 counties. After that, I came back to finish college and start my career in banking, where I have been for the past 20 years.
How have your experiences in the military shaped you as a banker and a leader?
Honestly, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t use my military experience in how I work with my teams or how I approach business. Three things that I carry with me today are the importance of having strong core values, a set of routines, and discipline in your everyday life.
In work and in the military, you quickly find yourself in positions where you 1) need a tight moral compass, 2) have to pay attention to the leaders around you, and 3) must be very disciplined in your approach to the task at hand. I take those lessons and apply them to my own work and try to instill them in my team members.
How would you define yourself as a leader?
I have a servant leadership approach and believe in flipping the pyramid upside down so I am serving my first line of managers and that line serves the next and so on. We are here to help our associates so they can be great at what they do. This was a major component to what attracted me to UMB – how we serve our associates, our clients and our communities.
Part of your role in Colorado is building a great team. How do you do that, and what do you look for in your associates?
We are always looking to grow our team, especially in today’s competitive labor market. But we look for the right people – people who fit our culture at UMB and align with our core values.
I always ask myself, “Would I want my child to learn from this person and work for them?” If the answer is yes, then I know I’m hiring the right kind of person. We want people who are energized by UMB’s values, excited about the growth in this market, and passionate about helping our clients succeed.
What do you do in your spare time?
I have three kids – ages 16, 14 and 11 – so my wife and I spend most of our spare time hanging out with them and going up to the mountains. We also are heavily involved with their sports, school activities and community work. My son is into track and cross country so we are training together for two half marathons later this summer to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project.
Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you?
I’m just excited about working with a company that I am passionate about and with leadership that I admire. I think it’s important for our organization to continue to do what’s right, operate from a strong moral compass, and be passionate about our work and our community. If we do this, I have no doubt that we will continue to find the right talent, bring them onto our teams, and add more value to our clients.
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