Leading Through Difficult Times

September 23, 2020 | (22) Comments

Over the course of my career, leadership has been a passion of mine, and I have thus dedicated quite a lot of time writing, speaking and thinking about leadership. But here’s the thing—to be a good leader, you have to continue to be open to learning more. There is always something new to be learned, and every new experience can teach you something—including a global pandemic.

I recently read a news article that deeply resonated with me and I wanted to share my thoughts with you. As Josh Womack notes in the piece, COVID-19 is most definitely inspiring new and all types of leadership. I have always said that everyone at Texas Children’s is a leader, but these days, it is more critical than ever, even if it looks quite different than ever before.

Depending on your skill set and your role at Texas Children’s, what you bring to the table and contribute to our One Amazing Team ranges across the full spectrum. From our physicians to our facilities team, social workers to nurses, from those working from home and those who are working tirelessly at labor pool to ensure the safety of each individual who enters the hospital—I see you.

I see you quickly adapting to whatever changes come our way. I see your ability to lead and inspire those around you, and I see that even in the midst of a pandemic, you have truly exemplified what it means to be leader.

You may not be able to see how sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference here at the hospital and in your own homes, but I guarantee you every little thing matters.

Through the last seven months, I’ve witnessed a spirit of leadership like never before from almost every Texas Children’s employee. It makes me unbelievably proud to see the commitment and dedication taking place at every level. No matter what you’re contributing to Texas Children’s, all of you play a vital part of the exceptional care we provide to children, women and their families each and every day.

Many times the strongest leaders are the ones working quietly in the background doing whatever they can to serve those around them. Sometimes it’s maintaining a positive attitude and spirit that will brighten someone’s day, and other times it’s simply understanding when someone needs a helping hand. So no matter what your role here may be, remember that because of you and your commitment to leadership, Texas Children’s is standing strong today.

I want to thank all of you for exemplifying leadership in your own unique way. No one knows what tomorrow will bring to our doors, but I know that Texas Children’s has the best and most resilient leaders, and there is no other team I’d rather work with.


22 Responses to “Leading Through Difficult Times”

  1. Cassie A. Jones

    I completely agree that sometimes leadership is in the smallest of details, the unseen work in the background. We all play a part and as we continue to learn, our leadership will continue to grow.

  2. Vic Griffis

    All I can say is: This could not have come at a better time for me. In my opinion, very few institutions, in this entire country, have a leader that is so in touch with his entire staff. I want to personally thank you for your inspiration and values!

  3. I’ve always believed that leaders should adapt to those they lead and rather try to force everyone into one mold, learn how to lead all types of individuals. I work in an environment where everyone is expected to fit in a mold and become someone they are not. We have many individuals who carry the water and are empathetic however they have no real power. This does not deter them. I am uplifted by your words and to know you are truly one very special leader. Thank you!

  4. April Riggs

    The answers to the 3 questions, outlined in the article, make all the difference!

    1.Am I carrying water for my employees?
    2.Am I leading in a transactional or transformational way?
    3.Am I doing all I can to help my people feel their best right now?

    Thank you for sharing this article with us. I am inspired each day by the remarkable leadership demonstrated throughout the organization.

  5. Katie Kalenda-Daggett

    Yes-sir, Leadership! I’ve been so impressed by the members of our workforce, as they each stepped up their service to one another – and to our patients – in their very own, unique ways. Most impressive has been the way we’ve thoughtfully and quickly adapted operations and patient and family experience to meet the new demands we find in healthcare and society. Our rapid transformation has required wholehearted leadership at every level of our organization. 2020 isn’t over yet, but if the first nine months prove anything, they prove that Texas Children’s is sturdy and compassionate!

  6. Angela Banks

    Thank your Mr. Wallace, It’s your leadership that inspire the leadership in me and I believe I can say all of us. Empathy, Compassion and a willing spirit is what drives me to be my best at TCH and home. Thank you to my number one leader.

  7. Elaine Whaley

    Thank you for taking the time to share this article and your thoughts. At no point in my many year career have I been prouder to be part of this team – we do amazing things!

    I am honored to carry the water everyday.

  8. Heather Collins

    Always appreciate your inspiring words, optimism and love for what you do. You keep us focused and energized by your glowing example of selfless leadership.
    I am thankful everyday to be part of this amazing team!

  9. Ann McClarney

    If you work a labor pool, you watch a lot of people carrying the water. You see how one fellow worker is going out of their way to help a patient family get to their appointment and you see how another fellow worker has slipped away when it calms down to bring bottles of water out to their team members. You see countless acts of kindness from co-workers. You watch bonds form with people you would have never met out of this 14,000 plus group of individuals. You also see the bad, as with life, but the good always, without question out ways the bad. You say a little prayer and you let the bad go and hang on to the good. Labor Pool is difficult but when you go home in the evening you know you have given 100% for the day and you feel good that you made a mother who is here everyday with her child, smile or outright laugh at something you said or how you treated them or their child. Again you say a little prayer and thank God that you were able to be the person.

  10. Angela Gooden

    I really appreciate this commentary, Mr. Wallace. There are so many of our team members who have stepped up to lead during these very uncertain times. I’m so appreciative of the understanding, flexibility, and general willingness to do the right thing they’ve shown throughout the pandemic.

  11. Shanthi Saran

    Thank You for the very inspiring post and the article behind it. As mentioned here I see leadership from many unexpected places. I see a leader when our receptionist painstakingly guides a family who is bewildered by technology to set up for video calls. I could not believe my ears for the first time when I heard my office staff doing this. How do they know to do this, was the thought that ran through my mind. Yet, here they were!!! And they have done an amazing job.
    And I see leadership when a complex schedule is created for the office staff to play different roles during this difficult time. Even when we were short staffed our team came together and took care of the kids compassionately and efficiently.
    I am proud to be a member of my team and to be an employee at Texas Children’s Hospital.
    Thank You!

  12. Jackie Ward

    Thank you Mr. Wallace for these kind words of reflection. I too have seen everyone in this organization rally together to ensure our patients and families and our workforce remained safe and cared for. Unprecedented times calls for strong leadership at every level and this has resonated over the past 7 months. Thank you for your leadership at the helm to guide us and support us along the way. #OneAmazingTeam

  13. Denise Tanner-Brown

    Mr. Wallace,
    I know the two most used words in 2020 are “pivot” and “unprecedented”, but in my personal and professional life this year, the words adapt and anchor have resonated with me in a deeper way.

    Thank you for recognizing how the team has adapted and soared to new heights by anchoring themselves in our mission and vision.

    It is truly inspiring to witness greatness in action, not just philosophically, but REAL greatness in motion!

    Thank you again for this message.

  14. Elizabeth Watson

    Mr. Wallace,
    Thank you for being authentic, demonstrating compassion and always bringing things home. My husband and I talk about leadership and good citizenship to our two young boys almost on a daily basis. Just last week I asked my 9 year old what makes him feel better, to shoot the puck into the net and make a goal or to pass the puck to a teammate and he/she makes the goal? He answered with “passing the puck to my teammate so he/she can make the goal.” As a parent watching the game it is curious to see the difference in celebration among the children too – when a goal is made via an assist compared with a high scorer/individual making the goal. The article that you shared reminded me of this. Thank you for your leadership.

  15. Jessica( Jae) Floyd

    Thank You Mr. Wallace for making my day last week. I have been going through some rough times lately and your song was everything to me. Your so kind I love the positive energy that you give when you visit us in the food court. You lead by example and personally I’m trying to follow your lead.

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