Bank of the West is rapidly modernizing its services for our mobile, need-it-now world. But its business is all about people: serving diverse customers with different ideas about their money. As a VP, Branch Manager at the company, Victor Shin leads consumer bankers and operations staff — a diverse group of that come from different ethnic backgrounds and with varying personalities. A Senior Adjunct Professor at GGU, Shin leverages his high-level experience to teach undergraduates who will become the next generation of managers and executives.
“In the past, management practices were more top-down in attitude,” he says. “In the new generation of management, you have to come in as a ‘people-relater.’ People are different–and they are not you. The technical disciplines of management such as marketing, accounting, and finance are important but dealing with people is the nitty gritty stuff.”
Shin says that he got to an executive-level position in banking because he is naturally competitive and has the willingness to learn. His EMBA from GGU (’04) was part of his learning journey. “The degree is geared toward C-Level thinking. I was exposed to other senior managers in the classroom,” he says. “The GGU faculty are practitioners of their fields and deal with fortune 100 companies all the time. They were able to tell us what those companies are looking for in leadership. I try to bring the same approach to my undergraduate classroom.”
10 Management Insights from Victor Shin
1. As much as we want people to see what managers see, sometimes they don’t; so, you have to provide direction on how to do something in their own way.
2. Dealing with difficult situations is necessary; nobody likes conflict, but it is going to happen.
3. Managers have realized that they are not mind readers. They need to ask what people are thinking.
4. Likewise, if you don’t express your philosophy to your staff, they won’t know it.
5. People want core values established so they can achieve a goal as a group.
6. You have to be human and transparent because people are motivated by people they can trust.
7. Both new-school “organic” and more authority-based management approaches have value.
8. Management by objectives (MBO) is effective because it gives you a way to document and track quantitative goals, and refocus people if they get off track.
9. You need acumen in the three basic disciplines of business, but you must execute in a way that’s going to translate into success. The disciplines are Technical Skill (knowing what you are doing), Soft Skills (many of them related to Emotional Intelligence) and Self Determination / Motivation. Eventually, we all have to be accountable for our own actions and path in life. That is what people will see and hopefully emulate when you do it correctly. Communicating what you do along the way will help immensely. But at the end of the day, it is up to you.
10. When hiring, fit with the overall team is important. I like people that are open to trying all the wonderful kinds of foods that we have in the Bay Area. It shows they are open to new cultures and experiences.
More about Victor Shin, MBA
Victor Shin has over 20 years of experience in the financial industry in the San Francisco Bay Area, along with being a Senior Adjunct Professor at GGU since 2013. He has held various senior positions at major institutions such as Washington Mutual, Wells Fargo, Comerica Bank, and First Republic Bank. Shin also serves on the board of the Asian Business League of San Francisco and The Presidio Dance Academy. He earned a BA in Management and Accounting from Sonoma State University (’96).