Ten Questions, with Jill Ties

Integrity, dignity, and a big dose of positivity

Jill Ties has been in the banking industry for all of her professional life. While successfully maintaining a positive work-life balance, she has built a reputation as an authentic and influential leader. Starting as a teller in college she quickly moved up the ranks and now serves as senior vice president in the wholesale/retail mortgage division at U.S. Bank Home Mortgage. However, her career is not all that defines her. She is a proud mother and has a heart for her community. This month, I had the opportunity to chat with Jill about her career and personal life for our series Ten Questions.

You’ve been with US Bank for a long time. How do you explain your longevity?

I have been with U.S. Bank for 32 years. I attribute the longevity to having the ability to grow within various divisions, provide a great environment for work/family balance, and having core values that align with the core values of our company. Our company is dedicated towards community and volunteerism which is extremely important.

You have been successful in a male-dominated industry. How has that happened?

It is all dependent on clear communication. Priorities and goals can vary among employees whether it is male or female. I have chosen a path that looks to add value via providing a different perspective by making sure we effectively communicate to all our staff and clients.

Have you ever turned down a client and what were the circumstances?

Communicating turn-downs to clients is a daily part of our business. We have clear criteria for credit which leaves little room for deviation. The best way to handle it is to always treat people with respect when communicating an unfavorable outcome. Attempt to provide alternatives to improve their circumstances so they can reach their business objectives. Some of our best clients have come back after taking specific feedback, put in the work to change the circumstances, and have become long-term producing clients.

How has failure made a positive difference in your life?

Maybe because my outlook on life is always ‘glass half full’ that I don’t view anything as a failure. I look at situations as if they always had positive aspects and tend to focus on those as a launch to what lies ahead. I have experienced some difficult work situations with leaders. Those situations have taught me that the positive attribute is that when I am in that leadership position I will not handle in that manner. Work as hard as possible towards a positive outcome. It is important to understand that it is still a business. There have been times in my career that I have advanced, not as much due to how our business success or failure was realized, but rather the business decorum I demonstrated in a tough situation.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out in your industry, what would it be?

Put in the work. Your reputation is everything…and be humble. There is no magic formula. Always learn as many aspects of your business as possible because in many cases we are continually teaching. Our industry is highly regulated. It is not the job of the borrower to understand the implications of those challenges but resides with us to set the proper expectations. As you achieve success always show gratitude to those that helped you realize your goals. More than anything else your business reputation is everything. That is the only thing you are 100% in control of and the choices you make impact how others perceive your reputation.

To what do you attribute your success?

Positive attitude, hard work, gratitude and never having a sense of entitlement. No one owes us anything in our careers so don’t try to keep score. Show gratitude always and lead with grace, meaning that it is always more important to recognize team success as being paramount.

What are you most proud of?

My three kids…of course! As we all get older you see they actually did listen to some of the advice. This means not living a hypocritical lifestyle. If you tell your kids to be healthy, exercise, eat right, work hard, understand God’s grace, and be gracious you had better be setting the bar yourself. The positive outcome to that is you get to have more meaningful conversations as they become adults.

What have you read that I should read?

The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip and Dan Heath.

What is your spiritual practice?

Daily devotional, church, and of course those times during the day when you just ask for God’s strength. I also find running spiritual in a more abstract way. It is a time that I dedicate to clear my head and organize my thoughts/tasks for the day.

What keeps you awake at night?

I wish I could say it is more about hitting production numbers but honestly, it is more about the team that I lead. When you are at a company for as long as I have, teams instill a lot of trust in your ability to lead. The responsibility comes with the territory but there are also disappointments delivered to the team. If I did not take those disappointments to heart I would be less human. I also worry about my kids as any parent would, but I also am lucky to have a strong faith that allows me to let go of situations that I cannot control.

What would someone who doesn’t like you say about you?

She can be tough and at times sees things very black and white.

Where have you been that I should visit?

Venice, Italy. It’s beautiful and historic.

Jill Ties is a graduate of Augsburg College in Minneapolis and is Senior Vice President in the Wholesale/Retail Mortgage Division at US Bank Home Mortgage. She’s been with US Bank for over 32 years and also serves as director of Homeward Bound FoundationJill lives in Spring Park and has three adult children.

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