When you talk, I listen

May 14, 2015 | (4) Comments

One of the things I love about Texas Children’s is that we are not afraid to speak up when change needs to happen. Many of you email me when you have ideas about how to improve patient care or how we can operate more efficiently. Sometimes your emails are very personal in nature, or you may be passionate about a change that would impact many.

Regardless of why you email me, I read your messages. I listen, and I think about your questions and suggestions, because it’s not lost on me how incredible we must be as an organization if you can so freely do that – regardless of who you are or what your title is. Your messages and your efforts to continuously make us better reflect how invested we are in the mission of Texas Children’s. We are not 12,000+ people simply clocking in to work every day. We are a team – a family – driven by a passion to care for and heal people.

A few weeks ago, I blogged about our patients’ experiences here. Just as important to me, however, is your experience here. In an interview once, I was asked, “What keeps you up at night?” While I wouldn’t say I lose sleep over anything in particular, I understand the essence of that question, and my response then and now is that more than anything, I think about our people. I think about whether I’m helping nurture your growth and providing the tools and opportunities you need to carry out your ideas and visions to the greatest extent of your capabilities and talents.

As a leader, I believe if you foster a culture centered on your employees, you will be amazed at the extraordinary effort they put forth. So, your notes to me and the conversations we have in the hallways of Texas Children’s are integral to how I lead this organization. One of the most important characteristics I think a leader can possess is being a good listener. To be an effective listener, you have to be available to listen and listen with the intent of understanding a different, yet valuable perspective.

That’s why it means so much to me that we are bringing back our organization-wide engagement survey, now called “Your Texas Children’s Experience.” It’s open for the next two weeks, and for me, this survey is a way to hear from each one of you about what you’re experiencing here – the good, the great and especially the things we can do better. But it’s also a promise – a promise that I will listen and that your leaders will listen. And together we will work to respond to the needs of the organization.

4 Responses to “When you talk, I listen”

  1. Rosa Berlanga

    Mr. Wallace,
    Good morning! I have been here since 1980, left and came back. Now, I am about to celebrate 25 yr. with TCH. My question is; why can we not allow at least one family member to celebrate with us at the Recognition event? I speak not only for myself but for all others here at TCH. We spend so much time away from our families and the least we could do is have one family member to share this special event with us. I was told, my Manager was invited, But I have been through 4 managers in my time here at TCH. My children have been with me throughout the entire time.

    Thank You for your time,

    • Linda Aldred


      Congratulations on 25 years! Each year the Employee Recognition Celebration gets bigger and bigger and this year is no exception. That is why we have moved to a new venue. Over 400 honorees are being recognized this year and sadly we are unable to accommodate guests for everyone. Please know that Texas Children’s appreciates you and your loved ones who support you in your calling to serve those in need. We look forward to celebrating with you at one of Texas Children’s most beloved traditions.


  2. Paula Zimlicki

    Dear Mr. Wallace,

    I am really enjoying On the Mark. I have years of experience as a communicator whose previous jobs entailed working closely with the C-suite leadership, and I think it is wonderful that you have launched this blog.

    In the past, I have recommended blogging to CEOs because it demonstrates accountability. It shows that you listen and that you care. It speaks volumes that you’ve committed to communicating with us weekly in this way. This blog post in particular shows that you’re just as comfortable speaking to employees as you are with high-level leadership.

    Although I’m now here at Texas Children’s in a completely different role, I am happy here. And you know why? Because you care. Because you listen. Because you are genuine. It is that way with the leadership in my department, and that makes for happy employees. Thanks so much!


  3. Wilma F. Jenkins

    I am so proud to be a member of the Texas Children’s family.
    I had concerns and addressed them with my manager and clinical supervisor, they not only listen to my concerns but they immediatly acted and because the problems are resolved I must say I am much happier doing my Job in knowing that the/my leaders care about me as an indiviual and their goal was to meet my need to perform as a health care provider so I could do a greater /better Job meeting my patients needs.
    Thanks leaders at HPA for caring.
    sincerely ,

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