The Importance of Being Able to Understand a Variety of Viewpoints as a Leader: Tips From a Director

Sponsored by Bank of America

Photo courtesy of Bank of America.

Photo courtesy of Bank of America.

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May 19, 2024 at 5:17AM UTC

Reflecting on her career journey, Julie Simineo notes that she’s worn many hats — which has taught her a lot along the way. For instance, during her 12-year career at Bank of America, she worked in a variety of roles, including as a market leader of a sales team, operations manager, and regional performance manager.

All of these experiences combined now color the way that she fulfills her current role as a director in her role as the Southwest Regional Executive. She also uses her flexibility and ability to view multiple perspectives to excel as a self-proclaimed “professional problem solver” and leader. 

“Overall, my leadership style is collaborative and strategic in nature,” Simineo tells us. “Across my leadership team, there are so many talented individuals who are very diverse in their experience and approach to the business, which allows me to trust in the process. Having various viewpoints allows us collectively to execute efficiently once a plan is in place due to the ownership across the team.”

Here, we caught up with Simineo to learn more about her methods of helping to bring up other women behind her, insider advice on joining Bank of America, and more. Here’s what she had to say…

To begin, how have you used your role to help bring up other women behind you? How do you build time into your schedule for this kind of work? 

Leading by example is really important to me. When I think back, there have been so many incredible mentors who have had a substantial impact on my career journey. Therefore, finding time to have one-on-one connections with developing talent, speaking on panels, and collaborating with employee networks to create open forums are critical pieces of what I do every day. This doesn’t necessarily need additional time built into the calendar since it is a way of life that we have created across the organization.

There are also national forums such as LEAD (Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Development for Women), the Women’s Forum, and an Executive Leadership Women’s Forum, which allows me, and others, to share our message on a much broader stage while also exchanging ideas to continuously improve.

Personally, what professional skill are you trying to improve on?

The way I communicate and motivate others is always top of mind when thinking about professional development. As a leader, I am very cognizant of the fact that what I say and do can have a substantial impact on those around me. It is important that my verbal and written communication is on point, while also being delivered with impact.

What’s something you’re especially good at related to your work?

Identifying raw talent. It’s exciting to be a change agent for someone who is still trying to find the confidence in themselves to reach their full potential.

What about outside of work? 

Reading bedtime stories to my daughter. Nothing is better than stopping the world to read a good book with one person who means so much.

Moving on, what are the top three qualities you look for when you’re interviewing a candidate at Bank of America?

The first thing I look for is charisma. In our industry, it’s important that there is something about an individual that draws others in. After that, understanding an applicant’s work ethic, drive/purpose, and ability to overcome obstacles are all important factors in my decision making.

What’s one thing you think young job seekers should know about Bank of America? What about those who are in a more advanced career stage? 

At every level of our company there are immense opportunities to grow both professionally and personally. Through the eight lines of business at Bank of America, an individual contributor could have longevity with the firm but still feel challenged to learn and grow in various aspects of the financial services industry.  

Why do you think Bank of America is a particularly supportive work environment for women?

In my experience, the culture for aspiring female leaders is second to none. There are so many senior leaders willing to invest their time and energy into top talent, which inspires others to bring others along as well. The incredible benefits across the enterprise allow women to focus on life events while also continuing their career journey. Some of these programs include emergency back-up daycare, adoption and fertility assistance, 16 weeks of paid family leave, tuition assistance, and so much more.  

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