Leading By Putting Others First

Donta-Wilson-bbt-perspectives-feature

Dontá L. Wilson, senior executive vice president and chief client experience officer for BB&T Corporation, grew up in an environment where leadership meant responsibility, commitment and, most importantly, putting others first. It doesn’t take long to realize he learned those lessons well and continues to value their importance.

“My father is a military veteran with a 25-year career,” Wilson said. “My mother is a passionate singer. They are talented, accomplished people who gave me and my two brothers a solid, foundation of values and commitment to those you impact. My parents believed you lead and are successful by putting others first, by ensuring their success.”

That philosophy was reinforced by his sports coaches as Wilson grew up. “I first grasped what a leader was when I was playing sports,” he said. “My sport of choice was basketball, and I played point guard throughout my career – responsible for directing plays and distributing the ball. My coaches taught us that making others better is the key to being a good leader. Playing point guard proved to me how right they were.”

Sharing Values

Wilson’s background also taught him to put others first and help them succeed means you have to understand them. “Being a military family, we moved 12 times during my childhood,” Wilson said. “I learned while people may look different, sound different or live a little differently, they share some important core values – they care about their families, their community, they want to be successful, and they want to live and work with people who believe in, listen to and support them.”

With that foundation, Wilson found his personal philosophy for life fit well with the values-based philosophy and leadership style of BB&T.

“I got to know about BB&T when I was in college, and it was clear the organization paralleled what I believed in and the way I had been raised. As I joined the organization, I learned how ingrained that philosophy is throughout the organization and especially with the executive leadership team.”

The Reason You Get to Perform

As chief client experience officer for BB&T, Wilson’s business experience has prepared him well for his role. He has held a variety of leadership positions throughout the bank and its footprint. However, if you ask him he may say his real preparation to manage the BB&T client experience came from lessons he learned long ago from his mother.

“My mother, being a singer, instilled in me that performing was all about the fan,” he said. “She taught me to focus on them and make sure their experiences are wonderful. You treat them extremely well so that when they leave, each one will become an ambassador. And most importantly, never forget the fan is why you are there and the reason you get to perform.”

Envisioning Success

Clearly, putting others first comes naturally to Wilson. In fact, one the best examples of what that means to Wilson and his wife, Bonika, is an organization they started, I Am My Brother’s Keeper Mentoring Program. The program selects talented, ambitious, less privileged young men and pairs them with successful, accomplished male mentors. “The objective is to give these young men a vision of what they can be and encouragement that they can succeed,” Wilson said. “To date, more than 50 young men with various challenges when we met them have entered prominent colleges, gained undergraduate and graduate degrees and shown they can succeed.
I couldn’t ask for a better legacy.”

Leading By Putting Others First

Donta-Wilson-bbt-perspectives-feature

Dontá L. Wilson, senior executive vice president and chief client experience officer for BB&T Corporation, grew up in an environment where leadership meant responsibility, commitment and, most importantly, putting others first. It doesn’t take long to realize he learned those lessons well and continues to value their importance.

“My father is a military veteran with a 25-year career,” Wilson said. “My mother is a passionate singer. They are talented, accomplished people who gave me and my two brothers a solid, foundation of values and commitment to those you impact. My parents believed you lead and are successful by putting others first, by ensuring their success.”

That philosophy was reinforced by his sports coaches as Wilson grew up. “I first grasped what a leader was when I was playing sports,” he said. “My sport of choice was basketball, and I played point guard throughout my career – responsible for directing plays and distributing the ball. My coaches taught us that making others better is the key to being a good leader. Playing point guard proved to me how right they were.”

 

Sharing Values

Wilson’s background also taught him to put others first and help them succeed means you have to understand them. “Being a military family, we moved 12 times during my childhood,” Wilson said. “I learned while people may look different, sound different or live a little differently, they share some important core values – they care about their families, their community, they want to be successful, and they want to live and work with people who believe in, listen to and support them.”

With that foundation, Wilson found his personal philosophy for life fit well with the values-based philosophy and leadership style of BB&T.

“I got to know about BB&T when I was in college, and it was clear the organization paralleled what I believed in and the way I had been raised. As I joined the organization, I learned how ingrained that philosophy is throughout the organization and especially with the executive leadership team.”

The Reason You Get to Perform

As chief client experience officer for BB&T, Wilson’s business experience has prepared him well for his role. He has held a variety of leadership positions throughout the bank and its footprint. However, if you ask him he may say his real preparation to manage the BB&T client experience came from lessons he learned long ago from his mother.

“My mother, being a singer, instilled in me that performing was all about the fan,” he said. “She taught me to focus on them and make sure their experiences are wonderful. You treat them extremely well so that when they leave, each one will become an ambassador. And most importantly, never forget the fan is why you are there and the reason you get to perform.”

Envisioning Success

Clearly, putting others first comes naturally to Wilson. In fact, one the best examples of what that means to Wilson and his wife, Bonika, is an organization they started, I Am My Brother’s Keeper Mentoring Program. The program selects talented, ambitious, less privileged young men and pairs them with successful, accomplished male mentors. “The objective is to give these young men a vision of what they can be and encouragement that they can succeed,” Wilson said. “To date, more than 50 young men with various challenges when we met them have entered prominent colleges, gained undergraduate and graduate degrees and shown they can succeed.
I couldn’t ask for a better legacy.”