Show respect and appreciation often. During critical milestones in a project, it’s important to be right beside the team every step of the way. If they are up all night, you are up with them. Ensure everyone has what they need to succeed. Most importantly, be grateful and express that sentiment often. Nothing drains commitment from a team like feeling that their efforts go unnoticed. This also puts the business at risk for higher turnover and reduced productivity. The smallest gestures of gratitude are enough to inspire and bolster your team.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Anne Miela, Senior Vice President of Operations at NYMBUS, where she holds the integral role of helping financial institutions enter the digital age. With more than two decades of experience in the financial industry, Anne has led several hundreds of banks and credit unions to successfully overhaul their core technology operations in order to better compete and thrive in today’s modern banking world.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Thank you for the opportunity!
It’s definitely a unique story. Upon graduating high school, I decided to pursue accounting at the University of Connecticut. I graduated from their School of Business but after securing my first job as an accountant with a financial institution, I quickly realized it was not the right fit. Looking back, it’s a wonder how kids are expected to make such an impactful — and expensive — life decision at such a young age!
My next job landed me into financial information systems, where I supported, implemented and designed financial accounting solutions at a core banking systems provider. My experiences during those early years ultimately guided me to pursue an MBA in Systems Design & Development at the University of Hartford.
I’m fortunate to have now spent the majority of my career leading high-performance teams that are disrupting the financial services industry with innovative, modern and cutting-edge technology solutions.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
After so many years working for a company that did things the “traditional” way, what surprised me the most upon joining NYMBUS was that everyone, especially the Executive Team, challenged the status quo. Always thinking as a traditionalist, I was immediately challenged to think as an innovator. With that freedom, I proposed various new initiatives that led to the creation of SmartLaunch, our “Banking-as-a-Service” business model that outsources all of the operations of a digital bank brand to our team of industry experts. It’s now the only solution of its kind being offered on the market today, unlike anything this industry has seen before.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
There is not one mistake in particular that stands out to me. To be honest, I make mistakes every day. Don’t we all?
What matters is how we respond: by understanding and dealing with what went wrong in order to create solutions. Not to make excuses, place blame or dwell on the situation. In most instances, making mistakes is what allows us to learn and grow both professionally and personally.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
The financial services industry is experiencing massive disruption, as the GAFAs (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) have become major challengers for capturing today’s modern digital consumers. Many traditional banks and credit unions are not where they need to be from a technical standpoint to compete, nonetheless grow.
While the circumstance can seem overwhelming, it’s exactly what makes NYMBUS stand out. Compared to the antiquated legacy systems that many financial institutions are still saddled with, our modern cloud-based solutions can be easily deployed, allow for seamless integration and are affordably priced for any sized organization to implement. With NYMBUS, they are set up to rapidly respond to new digital products and services that today’s marketplace requires.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Yes, as I alluded to earlier, NYMBUS recently introduced SmartLaunch as a low-risk digital brand alternative for financial institutions to more immediately innovate and grow revenue. Our offering eliminates the need to go through a technology conversion or hire additional staff. This enables financial institutions to launch a separate digital-only bank brand without disrupting their current customer base. And as I mentioned, it’s completely outsourced to NYMBUS. From a customer-facing call center to back-office operations to targeted digital marketing and website services, our team of industry experts manages everything.
What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?
That regardless of gender, teams thrive when surrounded by role models of hard work and dedication. Be willing to roll up your sleeves and participate in the dirty work. Eliminate the hierarchy barriers when it boils down to getting the job done. And above all else, nurture a team culture of respect and trust.
What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?
The best-led teams are engaged. This starts with building meaningful relationships and fostering communication amongst team members.
While it’s not always easy, learning to delegate will make your job easier and the team stronger at theirs.
When the circumstance allows, it’s also important to entrust your teams to make their own decisions. It shows that they are valued and encourages top performance.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
I’ve had the privilege of working with many great people throughout the years. The ones that stand out most have challenged me to think differently and always be prepared, and encouraged me to build strong, talented teams. As a previous chief colleague of mine always said, “You are putting your career in the hands of the leaders you hire.”
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
The clients I work with are responding to a digital disruption in the financial services industry. Consumer behaviors are always changing, which force community banks and credit unions to constantly adapt to modern technologies in order to meet rising expectations. The industry is evolving into an experience that brings better convenience and personalization into our lives. It’s exciting to be a part of a business transformation that will impact the future of how we all bank.
What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why
1. Show respect and appreciation often. During critical milestones in a project, it’s important to be right beside the team every step of the way. If they are up all night, you are up with them. Ensure everyone has what they need to succeed.
Most importantly, be grateful and express that sentiment often. Nothing drains commitment from a team like feeling that their efforts go unnoticed. This also puts the business at risk for higher turnover and reduced productivity. The smallest gestures of gratitude are enough to inspire and bolster your team.
2. Hire only the best and brightest. An organization is only as successful as the people involved. Seek out talented, ambitious candidates that are dedicated to only great results. At NYMBUS, we are huge advocates of The Predictive Index which has enabled us to hire the right people for the right roles.
3. Be an idea champion. Advocate for new technologies, processes and procedures. By listening and reacting with an open mind, teams are empowered with the loyalty and confidence to bring new ideas and strategies to better the organization.
4. Encourage collaboration. If individuals are not sharing information, the organization suffers. Collaboration inevitably fosters an environment that makes working together more inclusive and productive.
5. Set goals to achieve success and define clear metrics to ensure those goals are being met. This enables you to stay in control of your work by focusing on predetermined benchmarks. Review those goals regularly to stay on track towards what success means to you.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
If I could inspire a movement it would be to eliminate exclusion and promote acceptance.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
A quote I live by is, ‘Work hard, stay humble.’ I feel accomplished knowing that I put 100 percent into my work each and every day. It’s satisfaction that can’t be found in a job title.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?
It may sound cliché, but Steve Jobs would have been a mind-blowing person to sit with. His legacy with leading Apple and dramatically transforming how people interact with technology has impacted our society on all levels. What an opportunity and honor it would have been to have heard his vision and to have worked with the team who implemented on that. Who would ever have thought that, at every age and demographic, an Apple device could be in the hands of any person across the world. Consumer, Education and Office…not many products have been able to cross all lines.