When setting out to prepare her acceptance speech for American Banker's Lifetime Achievement award for Women in Banking, former Capital One Bank President Lynn Carter felt inclined to focus on how her career was influenced by others.

"The journey has always been about the teams I've been a part of," Carter said in an interview prior to the Women in Banking gala in New York Tuesday. "It's about amazing people who have been role models for me and their impact collectively."

During her speech, Carter listed her grandparents, her husband, John, and fellow honorees Carrie Tolstedt of Wells Fargo, Bank of America's Anne Finucane and Capital One's Colleen Taylor among these influences. Though she didn't delve into each lesson learned, an over-arching theme was clear: It's important to listen to others, especially if their opinion is different from yours.

"Building lifelong connections with people from diverse backgrounds … often with perspectives contrary to my own, has helped me navigate my path and motivated me to succeed," Carter said.

Twice recognized as one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking and also making multiple appearances on the list of "Women in Banking to Watch," Carter retired from her position as President of Capital One Bank in December 2011. Following the death of her father and a close friend, former Citigroup executive Terri Dial, shortly thereafter, she took some time off to focus on friends and family.

"When you spend 38 years working as hard on what you do, you miss out on some of those things," Carter said during an interview, adding that she has just "begun to explore broader opportunities" with multiple firms, potentially as a board member with a not-for-profit organization.

While she has yet to accept any offers, Carter, who has also held prominent leadership roles at Wells Fargo, FleetBoston and Bank of America, is certain she will not take on another executive position.

"I'm really done with that," she said. Also wrapped up is her tenure with Capital One (COF), where she had remained as a consultant for several months post-retirement.

"That was over in March," she said. "And they're doing just fine."

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