Meet Steve Wilson. He has over 15 years of experience in the finance industry spanning a variety of roles including working at several banks and as a financial analyst researching and analyzing banks and financial institutions. He has spent years studying banks, credit unions, and the products and services they offer. Steve is very passionate about this industry and considers himself a personal finance and credit expert as well.
Apart from having been a professional in the industry, he also provides people with guidance and advice through his website Bankdash and advises on the best banks and credit cards backed by independent and data-driven research.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Steve Wilson: I’m excited to be here! My name is Steve Wilson and I’m a finance expert. After studying accounting and finance from a young age, I was intrigued by the general concept of money and started to pursue a career in finance. I realized that many people were unaware of where to get actual, data-driven, and on-biased financial advice which is how I started my business, Bankrate. Bankrate is a platform where visitors can acquire information and ratings on banks as well as information on financial products and topics.
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Steve Wilson: Building a remote culture is important: Trust creates increased productivity, fewer turnover, and a good work atmosphere, in my experience. Many employees were faced with the task of reconciling work with the obligations of homeschooling children or caring for elderly relatives during the epidemic. Most workers will appreciate the gesture and work more effectively to guarantee nothing falls through the cracks if you give them the freedom and trust they need to combine their work and family duties. The pandemic has highlighted the significance of remaining connected as well as developing and maintaining a culture of trust and responsibility, particularly among remote workers.
In 2020, many organizations required their workers to work from home, but they did not have access to laptops or Microsoft Teams. These companies either did not manage risks linked with a business interruption at all or did so ineffectively.
Improved response time: All businesses, from the health sector and restaurants to state administration and the automobile industry, were experiencing crises in 2020. Natural catastrophes, diseases, cyber-attacks, or even a poorly executed advertising campaign may all interrupt operations. As a result, every business should identify risks and develop immediate responses.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Steve Wilson: To be blunt, there is no longer any “normal” to return to. We are currently experiencing a paradigm change in terms of how people work and what workers demand from their organizations. Many of the pandemic’s characteristics will persist in some form, and every company will have to find a new way of operating.
Your employees require attention and time to acclimate. During the epidemic, we’ve all faced difficult times and challenges–some more than others.
Companies that really put their workers’ well-being at the core of their strategy will succeed while the Great Resignation continues. Asking them what they want to do is the best way to do it and move forward.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Steve Wilson: Bank executives had to strike a tough balance between traditional risk management and the requirement to respond rapidly to a crisis that has wreaked havoc on their operational environment. As more people work remotely, criminal cyber activity, such as fraud and phishing assaults, has grown.
As banks emerge from crisis mode, their boards must address new developing threats such as video and voice communication monitoring with everyone employing Zoom and other platforms, data security restrictions for personal equipment usage, and incidents of third and fourth parties being hacked.
In order to adapt, we looked at areas where we might have been rushing things through and accepting a few risks and instead, reinforced our cyber security.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Steve Wilson: Everyone is looking for something. Almost everyone acts in their own self-interest (even if they profess not to.) In fact, those who are most willing to offer advice or assistance also expect the most in return. Assume that any professional or business aid you receive is part of a planned transaction, whether now or later. You will not be disappointed if you do so.
I intend to improve on becoming more vigilant of people’s motives and learning the difference between a favor and a request for an exchange.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Steve Wilson: Voice search shopping: According to a global analysis done by Wunderman Thompson, voice-based internet purchasing will generate over $40 billion in the United States and the United Kingdom alone by 2022, representing an 18% market share.
While certain voice search solutions had a rocky start due to user experience issues and privacy concerns, the technology is on its way to being a fully integrated part of e-commerce consumer experiences in the near future.
Blockchain in e-commerce: Blockchain is a cutting-edge technology that allows for the reliable and secure storing and movement of data without the need for a central authority.
One of the first industries to adopt blockchain was the food business, which used it to tackle food scandals. Other industries (such as fashion) are anticipated to adopt it as well.
That’s a good move since customers are becoming increasingly worried about product transparency.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Steve Wilson: I probably spend around 5 hours in front of the screen although I try to minimize that as much as possible. It’s quite hard not to do that though since everything from work to entertainment is done via our mobile and computer screens.
During the day, however, I do try to go on exercises or to get some fresh air.
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Steve Wilson: Empathy and understanding should be promoted.
If you want your employees to interact with your message through storytelling, it’s vital that your tale elicits empathy and comprehension. This was accomplished by including the feelings I experienced in my account. You probably wouldn’t have comprehended or empathized with what I was going through if I hadn’t done this.
I cite a Princeton neuroscientist’s study that tracked a woman’s brain activity while she delivered a personal anecdote. The narrative was then told to five persons, with their brain activity being recorded as well. The study discovered a substantial connection in brain processes, resulting in greater comprehension and empathy between the storyteller and the listener.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Steve Wilson: Problems have built into a perfect storm after over a year of persistent disruptions. Cargo availability and port unloading infrastructure have been forced into a frenetic downward spiral by uncertain demand and availability, as well as unpredictable labor shortages, both owing to COVID-19 and numerous side-effects and mishaps. While container prices have risen (a normal container from east Asia now costs over $20,000), ports have been unable to meet the unloading demands of incoming ships.
Some ports have already switched to 24-hour operations, but the problems will take considerably longer to resolve – and costs are unlikely to fall quickly. In such volatile times, however, accurate forecasting is practically impossible.
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Steve Wilson: In the realm of Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality, it’s a crazy crazy world out there. We are creating nearly endless worlds where literally anything can happen, thanks to Facebook becoming Meta and other tech giants going on board. Automation, robots, and virtual reality are all on the rise and will continue to do so for some time. As a result, whatever ability you get in this industry will make you more useful than your colleagues. I’m trying to learn skills within this space as it’s very interesting to me.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Steve Wilson: Feeling unappreciated
Employees expect to be recognized for their efforts. When a corporation disregards an individual’s achievements, the person may seek value elsewhere, such as new employment. Implement a system that recognizes and rewards good employees so that they feel valued members of the team.
The company’s expansion is limited.
Professionals have a strong desire to advance in their careers, and one of the top two reasons why employees quit a job is a lack of advancement chances. Recognizing hard work and praising employees for a job well done, as well as establishing a clear career path, may help employees feel like they have a long-term future with the company.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Steve Wilson: I would probably pick super speed so that I’m never late for an in-person meeting ever again!
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Steve Wilson: It means to know that life is filled with abundance. Life is abundant with love, health, friends, and family. Recognizing this is a crucial step toward feeling appreciative for what life has to offer. If you can sense it, I believe you’ve already achieved success.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Steve Wilson for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.