Uma Wilson, UMB Bank

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Uma Wilson earned success by mastering three basic — yet often overlooked — skills.

Those skills are: 1) patience, 2) working as a team and 3) providing feedback. Probably the first skill, patience, is the hardest to grapple for eager executives climbing the corporate ladder.

“When you’re young and hungry, you want to be unstoppable — but you have to have patience. Not everything happens overnight, and it’s perfectly fine to accept the role you’re currently in and work to be the best at it, rather than constantly pushing for the next step," said Uma Wilson, executive vice president, director of treasury management, card & bank product at UMB Bank. Wilson is one of PaymentsSource's Most Influential Women in Payments for 2020.

Read more: The Most Influential Women in Payments, 2020

"If you prove yourself where you are, that next step will come. This was a tough one for me, as I was (and am) ambitious — so I have to remind myself to have patience,” Wilson said.

The other habits rely on a combination of interpersonal skills where an executive looks out for others and the team’s health overall. It involves helping others to achieve success, which may seem counter-productive to achieving one’s own success.

Wilson said that understanding the dynamic of the team, especially as a young manager, is important to grasp in order to help the team achieve its goals. In this case, while it’s critical to recognize and celebrate individual contributions as they occur, it’s important not to overlook the progress being made toward the team goal. In the same vein, achieving the team’s goals cannot run roughshod over individual achievements.

Uma Wilson, Executive Vice President, Director of Treasury Management, Card & Bank Product, UMB Bank
Uma Wilson, Executive Vice President, Director of Treasury Management, Card & Bank Product, UMB Bank

Since much of the work environment is about teams creating opportunities and solving problems, the need is to feed and nurture a positive team environment where both team and individual successes can be recognized.

When it comes to providing feedback, it’s also important to learn how to constructively accept it as well as give it. Wilson learned this by listening to one of her mentors.

“Jim Rine, president and CEO of UMB Bank, has played an important role in my development, specifically in that he pushes me to challenge myself and has shown me that it’s not only appropriate, but necessary, to surface and discuss topics that aren’t popular," Wilson said. "He, along with other leaders at UMB, has also helped me learn how to anticipate questions and subjects for discussion, as well as figure out how to ask for what I need and position myself to be in the right place at the right time in order to accomplish my goals."

In the future, Wilson sees the payments landscape evolving in 2025 with businesses being far more open to adopting payments that are faster on the settlement side, such as real-time payments. Unfortunately, Wilson does not see the fraud issue residing any time soon. As can be expected, advancements will be made on fraud mitigation, yet as fraudsters have learned to evolve, so will the methods of detection and defense need to evolve.

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