Maxim no. 9: Leadership development is hiring the best, developing them and retaining them.
Last week, I celebrated 29 amazing years at Texas Children’s, and when I look at how much we have grown as an organization both in size and scope it takes my breath away.
The growth of our workforce has also been simply incredible. When I first came to Texas Children’s in 1989, we had about 1,400 employees. Today we are 14,000+ strong. We have grown so much, but more important than just growing is having employees who grow and develop with the organization, and it doesn’t just happen by accident. At Texas Children’s, we invest purposefully and unceasingly to ensure that each of you have the growth opportunities you want so that you can enjoy long, rewarding and fulfilling careers here.
Back in 1994, when Andrea Crayton – or Dré as many of us know her – walked in as a new employee for her first day of work at the McDonald’s restaurant at our Medical Center Campus – it was the start of an amazing professional and personal journey. Dré started at McDonald’s but soon after joined Texas Children’s, working for several years in Environmental Services and Valet Services. She left for a bit to earn her Associates Degree in Respiratory Care and returned to Texas Children’s as a respiratory therapist. As a member of Texas Children’s Kangaroo Crew, she spent several more years helping safely transport some of our most critical patients.
Throughout the years, Dré has continued her education, taking advantage of Texas Children’s tuition reimbursement program. Last December, she took the most exciting walk of her journey yet – a walk across the stage to receive her Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care, graduating summa cum laude! I’m so proud of Dré and all that she has accomplished, but her journey isn’t over yet. Now Dré is pursuing a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in healthcare, while working as a respiratory clinical coordinator at The Woodlands Campus, where she’s closer to home.
Every step of the way, Dré says she’s had two things in her favor – aspiration and inspiration. Her amazing spirit drove her to keep learning, and she says she’s grateful for the mentoring and advice from dynamic leaders like Jennifer Bee, Michelle Riley-Brown, Dr. Jeanine Graf, Gail Parazynski, Garry Sitler and Ketrese White. More importantly, whenever and wherever she looked to challenge herself, develop new skills, or advance within Texas Children’s, there was an opportunity available and tools to support her.
Dré’s story is similar to so many of you here – I know many of you who have dedicated your careers in a single department while others have pursued new opportunities across the organization as you’ve gone through different stages of your lives and careers. I’m so proud that Texas Children’s is a place where all employees can grow and learn both personally and professionally. Texas Children’s is a place where there are no limits, and you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
I truly believe our commitment to your professional growth and development is our greatest investment – because when you are happy and thriving, the possibilities for our collective success are endless!
I’d like to hear from you … have you had an interesting career journey at Texas Children’s? If so, briefly share your story.
Take the leadership challenge, and score a spot at a Houston Texans event!
Over the past few weeks, Mark Wallace’s blog has been highlighting employees who demonstrate his Maxims of Leadership. Each blog post poses a leadership question that Texas Children’s employees may respond to in the comments section until October 19.
Afterward, the Corporate Communications team will randomly select 75 people from the comments 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.