March 2016

Leading amazing teams

OBrien

You know, I firmly believe we all should be guided by a core system of beliefs as leaders. There are literally hundreds of appropriate leadership definitions and approaches, and while there is no perfect or universally accepted way to lead, if you aspire to lead effectively, you must have that core system of beliefs.

For me, that system of beliefs and proven strategies is my 10 Maxims of Leadership. These leadership philosophies guide my path, my thoughts, decisions and actions – at home and at work. And ultimately, it’s my core system of leadership values that drive meaningful, effective outcomes and successful results.

TEX_2K16-0091_PVK_1531 Mark Wallace and Texans Coach Bill O'BrienBecause I’ve invested so much time personally growing and refining myself as a leader, I have a deep appreciation for others on that same journey. So it was such a pleasure recently to have Houston Texans Coach Bill O’Brien stop by Directors Forum to speak to our leaders about his distinguished career in professional football and the leadership skills he’s honed to get where he is today.

Video: Coach Bill O’Brien’s presentation to Directors Forum

*Please note this video is only available for internal viewing on Connect.

Coach O’Brien shared six attributes of leadership he has developed over the years based on his unique experiences in football. These attributes comprise his core system of beliefs and have proven effective throughout his career. I’d like to share them with you.

Communication. When it comes to delivering important news, do it in person, not via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter or any other type of social media. There are a lot of things that can be communicated that way, but when it comes to substance or making critical decisions, it should be done face to face.

People skills. Get to know the people you work with. Sometimes it’s a challenge to get to know everyone, but at least attempt to. It shows you care and will inspire employees to be the best they can be.

Character. When you have character and you have people of character working with you, in a critical situation, they’ll do the right thing.

Competence. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Know what you want to accomplish, and give people something that makes them better.

A good heart. Share a little bit about yourself with those you work with. It shows compassion and that there are more important things than just work.

Courage. Be decisive, understand what’s in front of you, and know what you believe in. Then have the courage to stand up for it, and inspire others to do so as well.

What I like most about the list of attributes Coach O’Brien shared is that they can be applied by anyone in any position at any organization. They are simple yet powerful tools people can use to cultivate strong relationships, which are paramount at amazing organizations like Texas Children’s and the Houston Texans.

Hearing Coach O’Brien’s leadership philosophy makes me even prouder that we’re partners. We are both fortunate to lead teams of incredible people, and I know together, our teams will do some great things in the years to come.

 

Mark H. Wallace