Kathy Beeman is SVP/Manager of Corporate Trust Administration in Kansas City, Mo. In 2019, Kathy was honored with a UMB Leadership Award for achieving results as she approaches her 25th year at UMB. Kathy shared her insights about achievement in the below Q&A session.
What do you consider your greatest achievement at UMB?
I’m proud to say I have been part of UMB’s growth since I started here in 1994. The ways we work and serve our customers has grown tremendously since that time. I believe we truly deliver on customer experiences in ways our competitors cannot, and we’ve been able to support a lot of expansion, and achieve a lot of results, in a short amount of time.
UMB has a culture of going above and beyond. We really do try to take care of each other and our clients, and our reputation is strong enough that communities expect this from us. Our standard of operation extends back in time, throughout our history.
What advice has contributed to your success in achieving results?
Take care of other associates.
My leaders convey to me that if I take care of my team of people, they’ll do the same for our clients, which will lead to results for the company. Taking care of my associates is my number one priority. If an associate expresses work-related stress to me, I can pair him or her with teammates for support and/or reassign accounts. If the stress is personal, we can be there for each other and make sure associates are feeling good about what they’re doing at work.
Do your best to contribute to team motivation.
Feeling overwhelmed takes its toll on morale. When motivation is low, I think rebuilding starts with the individual self. During some systems changes a while back that impacted my team, I tried to model a sense of motivation for my team with the hope that they would think, “If she can do it, then so can I.” In adapting to changes, I try to continually remind my team of their exceptional performance and highlight their specific achievements, like taking care of clients and providing unparalleled service. I invite associates to tell me what is overwhelming them, and it’s gratifying to see that associates don’t hesitate to call me or visit my office.
Roll up your sleeves.
I’m a hands-on person. I like to lead by example, and I have no problem rolling up my sleeves and working alongside my team to achieve results together. I don’t believe that what I do as a manager is any more important than what my team does; in fact, I tend to think that my team does more important work than I. They’re the ones who build our client relationships. If I’m not supporting my team, then they’re not going to support our clients.
It’s important to work collaboratively to establish a plan for achieving a goal. Sometimes I arrive at work with a to-do list, but I spend my day helping a team member. My role is supportive; I just want to do the best I can for my team. Achieving great results is rarely a one-person job.
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