Defining leadership

August 24, 2017 | (11) Comments

“We all should have our own personal definition of leadership.”

Leadership Maxim No. 4 is essential to becoming an effective leader. Think about it…how can you truly lead if you have not defined what leadership means to you? It is difficult to lead without a compass and that is why it is so important that we each have our own personal definition of leadership. That definition should reflect our core values, beliefs, guiding principles and personalities.

Coming up with something so important and personal takes some time and effort. It took me an entire year. When I was starting out as a young hospital administrator, I gave a presentation at a conference in California. After my talk, someone in the audience asked me how I defined leadership.

I didn’t have a good answer, because I hadn’t really given it much thought. So, I came up with something in the moment and left the conference determined to have a thoughtful answer to this question, even if it was just for myself. After a tremendous amount of reading, speaking with colleagues and thinking about leadership, I crafted my definition, which still holds true for me today. I believe that leadership is the sum of three things: vision + structure + PEOPLE, with people by far being the most important element or ingredient in the leadership definition and equation.

These words guide my actions and decisions every day as the leader of Texas Children’s, and in many other areas of my life. I am proud to say that I know many of you have developed your own definition of leadership and it helps guide you both professionally and personally.

Hannah Conley, has been with Texas Children’s for 10 years and is currently a supervisor at the Texas Children’s Pediatrics Cypresswood location. She has spent a significant amount of time developing her personal definition of leadership and was heavily influenced by some of her past leaders. Over the years, Hannah has had some really amazing leaders and, unfortunately, some not-so-good ones. But each of them helped mold her definition of what an effective leader should be and what kind of leader she aspires to be.

Hannah believes that an effective leader is someone who leads by example and guides their team in the right direction instead of just telling them where to go. She also believes a good leader is someone who values their team members’ input and is always willing to listen and consider their opinions and ideas.

At Texas Children’s Pediatrics Cypresswood, Hannah puts her leadership skills into action every day by having and promoting a positive attitude and demonstrating how to truly care for patients, families and co-workers. Most recently, Hannah was asked to help brainstorm and develop ideas for streamlining and standardizing some of the clinical and non-clinical processes and procedures at Texas Children’s Pediatrics’ practices across Greater Houston.

Many of the ideas that came out of those brainstorming sessions have been implemented at the Cypresswood practice and will be implemented at the other practices shortly. Hannah will continue to be responsible for helping ensure everything goes smoothly at her practice as well as at the other 51 practices. I have no doubt she will put her leadership definition into action and inspire others to do the same.

I’d like to hear from you … what’s your personal definition of leadership?

Take the leadership challenge, and score a spot at a Houston Texans event!

Over the next four weeks, Mark Wallace’s blog will highlight employees who demonstrate his Maxims of Leadership. Each blog post will pose a leadership question that you may respond to in the comments section of the blog post. 

In September, the Corporate Communications team will collect all of your comments and draw the names of 100 commenters to attend a private event with the Houston Texans, including a behind-the-scenes tour of NRG Stadium, an autograph session with two Houston Texans football players and photos with the Texans cheerleaders.

So make sure you respond to the question at the end of

Mr. Wallace’s blog post to be entered to win!

Click here to watch a video about how Texas Children’s and the Houston Texans are leading in patient care and on the football field every single day.

11 Responses to “Defining leadership”

  1. Regina Wysocki

    My personal definition of leadership is sharing with others the important ways they fit into the bigger picture of the organization as a whole. When everyone understands how their role impacts others, they can be united towards the organization’s mission and vision.

  2. James Northcutt

    A leader SACRIFICES for their team or group and is PRESENT. You must place others before yourself and you must show up. TCH showed up and sacrificed for its employees during hurricane Harvey proving that leadership is not only spoken of but practiced. I am proud to be a TCH employee today, thank you.

  3. Tyler Giess

    I always enjoy hearing different definitions of leadership. They can provide information, other perspectives, that I may not have considered as I continue developing my own definition. To me, leadership is providing the team the resources (tools, ability, mentorship, and motivation) to achieve a vision.

  4. Rachel Beasley

    A leader is more than a manager of tasks. A leader takes the time to understand the big picture to develop value added achievable goals for the team. A leader creates an environment of access, motivates with integrity and desires to lead by example. Leadership starts inherently with a quality of character which is massaged with experience, both learned and read, and mentors. Leadership for me is the passion and pursuit of excellence everyday in both my work and my personal life. Thank you for being an outstanding leader for me Mr. Wallace. I value being a TCH employee.

  5. Matt Goette

    My (current) personal definition of leadership is ENGAGEMENT + TEAM + GOAL: An active process of personal ENGAGEMENT designed to educate and enable a TEAM of professionals to achieve the GOAL of improved quality and safety in radiology.

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