The freedom to lead

October 1, 2018 | (46) Comments

Maxim no. 7: “Most companies are under-led and over-managed.”

Leadership Maxim No. 7 expands on the principles laid out in Maxim No. 6. The ability to manage – making sure processes, procedures and protocols are followed – is an essential and necessary skill.

But if you are solely focused on managing, you may have less time to concentrate on new ideas and growth. I believe that everyone is a leader, in all aspects of life. But part of being a leader is encouraging people and helping them develop their talents in a way that benefits them, their team and their organization. That requires trust – believing that people know what they’re doing so you can let them grow. In that way, a good leader helps others become leaders.

We asked you to tell us about teams that aptly demonstrate Maxim No. 7 – that strike the right balance between leading and managing. We received many incredible examples, but I want to spotlight three exceptional teams that are taking ownership of our mission and bringing their own definitions of leadership into every encounter with our patients, their families and colleagues across our system.


The STAR Kids Service Coordinators with Texas Children’s Health Plan in Jefferson (pictured above) are a compassionate, talented group, providing support for families across 11 counties – Chambers, Hardin, Harris, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery, Newton, Orange, San Jacinto and Tyler. Every day, they exhibit what it means to be on the front line, working to solve problems and to meet the needs of nearly 3,000 STAR Kids members across a huge geographic area. And since most of the team works remotely, each person has to draw on their own creativity, flexibility and initiative to treat each case with care, compassion and attention to detail. They are a model of individual leadership, and I couldn’t be prouder that they’re the face of Texas Children’s Health Plan and represent Texas Children’s in their communities.

The STAR Kids Service Coordinators are:

  • Shirley Addicks, LMSW
  • Heather Broussard, LMSW
  • LaQuasha Burke, LMSW
  • Josi Chapman, RN
  • Kinetha Clark, Cash Management Assistant
  • Penny Clark, RN
  • Deanna Courts, RN
  • Tammi Dyer, LBSW
  • Jocelyn Frank, RN
  • Brenda Gregg, RN
  • Maria Guerra, RN
  • Diana Munoz, LMSW
  • Amy Parker, RN
  • Wanda Rosemon, RN
  • Anne Sarrat, LCSW
  • La’Cretia Sterling, RN
  • Charles “Randy” Thomas, LCSW
  • Teplah Toomey, LMSW
  • Chantel Willis, LMSW


The Diabetes and Endocrine Clinical Care team at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands has been together since the hospital opened in 2016. The passion and dedication they have for children with diabetes and endocrine disorders is awe-inspiring. Patient families have often commented about how the clinical care team members work so seamlessly and are always so willing and ready to assist. If a problem or need arises, they work collaboratively to come up with solutions to improve clinic efficiency and processes and to enhance the patient experience.

They also take advantage of opportunities to grow as leaders by joining committees, participating in community volunteer activities, attending seminars and pursuing continuing education. They all demonstrate each day the passion they have for their patients, for each other and for Texas Children’s.

The Diabetes and Endocrine Clinical Care team includes:

  • Yvonne Barham, RN
  • Cindy Benavides, ASR
  • Elizabeth (Liz) Ceja, RN
  • Elizabeth (Paige) Dudgeon, RN
  • Melissa Frazure, ASR
  • Tamika (Mika) Isadore, MA
  • Karen Kelley, ASR
  • Laura Martinez, MA
  • LeUndrea (LeLe) Mathis, MA
  • Jessica Victoria, MA


The NICU 4 Patient Care Managers at our Texas Medical Center Campus help guide our outstanding NICU 4 nursing teams in delivering the highest level of care available for premature and critically ill newborns in our Level IV NICU. Each patient care manager brings a unique personality and leadership style to their management responsibilities, which include coordinating and monitoring care, scheduling, and organizing shifts, and serving as a liaison between physicians, families, nursing staff and other departments. They provide outstanding support, encouragement and mentorship for their nursing teams, helping them discover their potential and discover their own approaches to care.

The NICU 4 patient care managers also serve as strong examples of compassionate care, ensuring patients and families are always the No. 1 priority. This was especially true last year during Hurricane Harvey when the team worked tirelessly to make sure the NICU – and its families – had the resources and support to weather the storm.

The NICU 4 patient care managers are:

  • Michele Boettiger, MSN, RNC, NEA-BC
  • Brittney Boudreaux, BSN, RNC-NIC
  • Clarissa Daly, MBA, BSN, RN
  • Nikashia Franklin, BSN, RN, CCRN, ECLS
  • Tomica Franklin, BSN, RN
  • Jennifer Pitlik, BSN, RN, CCRN

These three teams are amazing, but I know that we have many more who are leading tirelessly every day.

I’d like to hear from you … why is it important to find the balance between leading people and effectively managing processes?

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

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.

46 Responses to “The freedom to lead”

  1. Brenda Gregg RN- Jefferson Team

    We are truly blessed with a great team and a great leader- It is often said that to be a great leader, you should “lead by example” – We on Team Jefferson have a great example to follow! Joy allows us professional courtesy to work our schedules the way that works best for our members and this in turn gives us great outcomes! Thanks to TCHP and Joy Malbrough- this is a great place for me to be! I love my TCHP job

  2. It’s important to find the balance to ensure everyone is learning and learning HOW to lead and what is looks like. If too much time is spent on the process, there is no time to strengthen individuals to become better leaders. Better leaders can continue to grow and transform every process to enhance quality and quantity.

  3. Melissa Bayne

    You must be able to effectively manage processes for your department/clinic to be successful – it doesn’t matter how great you are at leading people if you are not leading them (as a team) toward success.

  4. Lorianne Classen

    It is important to find the balance between leading people and managing processes because managing processes can easily consume your time and attention. Focus and commitment on leading people is necessary to maintain the necessary balance.

  5. Rachel Beasley

    Leading to empower results is one of my favorite and most rewarding tasks as a manager at TCH. Revenue Cycle Leadership allows the flexibility to each manager to find the right mix within his/her team to get the job done as well as promote growth within. Relationships are the critical component to making our team successful. When they come to me with an issue, they always bring a solution and we work together to get results. Thank you Mr. Wallace for exhibiting leadership everyday at TCH. It is truly a joy to work here.

  6. Rosemary Campo

    We here at TCH/TCP have exceptional leaders within the organization! Here at TCP we are strong because of even stronger leaders who are always willing to give their support for each individual’s opportunity for growth when the reach for the stars!

  7. Chelley Weaver

    If we manage process but don’t successfully lead others then we fail and similarly, if we lead others but fail to follow policy, procedures and best practice then we also fail. The only way we can successfully lead others and manage others is to find that balance. Living out our core values helps us be successful in finding that balance.

  8. Clarissa Guzman

    It is important to find balance so as not to neglect one or the other because my success stems from both. I know that my clinic cannot be successful without my team; therefore I must effectively manage my clinic so that my team has all the resources needed to be successful. This builds trust from my team. In contrast, I must also do my best to lead my team and set an example. I cannot expect them to meet expectations of efficiency and great customer service if I am not also demonstrating those values. Nor can I expect them to want to continue to develop/grow with my encouragement and help. By being the best leader I can be, I try to set an example that motivates others to become leaders in their own way.

    • Angela Banks

      This builds trust from my team. In contrast, I must also do my best to lead my team and set an example. I cannot expect them to meet expectations of efficiency and great customer service if I am not also demonstrating those values. This stood out to me. As a leader it is of great importance to have the trust and respect of those you lead and the best way to achieve such is to demonstrate trust and respect in your team. A great leader understand that a house divided fall but in unity their is strength and much accomplishment. For me as a leader because I am, I look for the good , the strengths in my team and move toward building on those strengths even when they don’t see it in themselves I chose to empower them that yes they can and they will by putting in the work and believe. We all have different strengths that when we put them together we get an amazing team. Thank you Clarissa Guzman for understanding that 99% of the time what you put out is what you will receive. As Mr. Wallace stated in his maxims of leadership can be used everywhere even in our personal lives with our families. Again, thank you I really needed to hear/read your statement.

  9. Vic Griffis

    Leading people, I believe, is measured by the value you add to those you lead. Successful leaders add value by teaching not only the how, but the why principles, actions, attitudes and responses are important in how we serve our customers, both internal and external.

  10. Isabel De La Tore

    This is very important concept because people want to follow a leader who can also do the same job as an employee. A great leader is not afraid to get “down and dirty” with their employees. The balance between the two demonstrates great character as a leader. It shows this person is not afraid to get out of their comfort zone, which in turn can lead to new ideas and areas of improvement. Building this trust, let’s people believe growth and change can be developed.

  11. Jerry Garcez

    Everyone wants to feel connected or part of the process. Great leaders are able to direct the situation while including other team members. I think that’s how you get “buy-in” & people to work together towards the same goals as you.

  12. Cindy Alvarado

    It is important to find balance because too much effort on one can cripple the other. They both run hand on hand when it comes to being successful. I have only been here at the Sugarland Health Center for a short time, and can say that it’s not just because we have such a great manager here, but the therapists, techs, and coordinators that come together that manage and lead our work as “ONE” that bring so much happiness to our patients every day.

  13. Stephen Cox

    Leaders should ensure that organizational policies reflect incentives for exceptional performance and clearly articulated disciplinary policies for those who fail to meet established standards.

  14. Tara Aldred

    One of the most limiting professional experiences is being over-managed. Good ideas are stifled and each contributor doesn’t get to bring all the value they carry to the group. The best leaders I’ve worked with facilitate conversation/ideas, state goals, and advise on boundaries, but leave the details up to the team.

  15. Heather Eppelheimer

    Managing processes helps you work smarter not harder and helps the team around you work in a more fluid way. If we are not working to create a better flow we are not able to lead effectively. Part of leading is working with a team to help manage processes to better support those you lead.

  16. Nyesha Jordan

    I have a great manager who not only leads our group tirelessly but also balances the managerial duties very well!! I agree they both go hand in hand and it feels good to have someone that inspires me on a daily basis to be great at both!

  17. Dawn Flesher

    It is important to balance managing and leading. A quality manager leads his/her team to excel and inspires them to be there best and push their limits while still enforcing policies and organizational protocols.

  18. A good leader helps recognize strengths in others. Encouraging team members to use those strengths to improve processes that directly affect patient care and outcomes are what we strive for as an organization. With recent leadership changes we have seen that the way we were lead prepared us to take on more as individuals and lead our departments.

  19. Trina Wilson

    Way to go TEAM JOY!!
    I’m personally proud of each one you ladies and gent. You guys have made a big difference in so many children and parents lives. You all are the best and I’m here for you all always. CMA Trina Wilson

  20. Olga Chen

    Yes, we lead everywhere we go. Whether it is at our job, with our clients, with our families, or even on the freeway. Sometimes it means having difficult conversations and other times it looks like having listening ear but ultimately it looks like taking opportunities to grow and learn as we serve others. I love that I have the opportunity to lead at Texas Children’s!

  21. Kathy Beekman

    Being an effective leader means being able to delegate tasks and trust your team mates in order to complete the department processes together. A good leader knows when to ask for help because they can’t be supervising everything and everyone at the same time. We all need to work together.

  22. To balance leadership and management, leaders provide direction and help employees understand their role in executing strategy. Leaders also steer and empower employees as Texas Children’s grows and new opportunities arise. Managers on the other hand, are all about execution. A good manager ensures employees are kept on task, have the information and tools they need to do their jobs, and are there to step in and resolve problems. Managers also keep Texas Children’s motivated, conduct performance reviews and assume the role of keeping us on track.

  23. Alisha B Lee (TCHP)

    WAY TO GO STAR Kids Team!!!

    Balance between management and leadership comes down to healthy work relationships, inspiring staff, and a productive environment that fosters growth and development.

  24. Lisa Setchfield

    Nature shows us the importance of balancing structure with freedom to grow. Picture the beauty of the flowing jasmine or rose blossoms that cover a trellis. The wise gardener uses the structure to provide some form while nurturing the plants striving for the sun.

  25. It’s very important to maintain good leadership first to effectively manage a group of individuals. You lead well and your staff will then follow by example which leads you to effectively manage them with no problem. You always want to maintain an “open door” policy with your staff so they will be able to not only count on you but develop an open communication line.

  26. Joyce Barrs

    Thank you Mark for your great Leadership. I have been with the Health Plan for 2 1/2 years. I was a Manager for 11 years at United Healthcare. In my role as Quality Analyst, I interact with the CCRs and lead by example. When I walk the floor and see all the Team Leads are in a meeting, I see, Leadership is needed on the floor, so I walk around and answer questions and take Supervisor calls. I make myself available for Team Meetings and offer assistance to the Team Leads and CCR’s. I was the first Leader to get Lean Belt Certified in Member Services. When the Trainer is out of the office, I assist with Training. During my One on One’s I stress to Kietric Donald,, my A. D., I want to be put on projects, I have a lot of knowledge so let me be useful. He says, I don’t know anyone who ask for more work. My joy is hearing the confidence a CCR has when they have met all of our Member’s needs and received a 100% on their evaluation. As you said, each one of us is a Leader, my spot at TCH now is to be a supportive Leader and share and build confidence in our future Leaders. Thanks, Joyce

  27. It is highly important to have a balance in leading people and an effective management process, due to the vast differences between them both. Management is getting people to do what NEEDS to be done. Leadership is getting people to WANT to do what needs to be done. If a department is over-managed, the team might feel “forced” to do what needs to be done due to the over controlling manner and lack of a relationship with an employee. Adding a little sprinkle of leadership such as keeping employees motivated, collecting feedback for improvements or even inspiring employees around them will eventually lead to employees WANTING to achieve the task. Management skills and leadership skills can’t be separated. Employees look to their managers for assignments, but they also look for feedback in the form of coaching, training and encouragement. Tying every job to the company’s larger goals and inspiring them to contribute is just as important as ensuring they get their everyday work done! 🙂 Shout out to Mimi Do @ TCUC Heights for always demonstrating these characteristics!

  28. Elizabeth Davis

    Managing is accountability when something falls short.

    Leadership is walking through what doesn’t work and seeing what can be done to improve. Whether it is through an enhancement of your own practice or a whole process to make things better and allow us to focus closer in on our mission.

    Both are totally necessary and needed in equal parts. Without leading you may never hear that great idea or feedback you need. And without management, you can’t see it through.

  29. Poonam Bhateja

    We have a great example as you to follow, I feel blessed to work for a great organization and having a leader like you to lead. A great leader has to find the right balance between leading and managing, these qualities go hand in hand.

  30. Jaime Marchand

    I believe that for me to be a successful leader / Manager, I have to gain the trust of my staff. I have to know every step they take to accomplish what they do every day. How can I lead or manage my area if I don’t know what it takes to accomplish the task? Sadly I now of leaders that are that way. As a leader I have to be able to get down in the trenches with them when needed and accomplish what they accomplish daily without asking questions of them. After all, the task must be completed. Children depend on us and what we do.

  31. Summer A

    Finding the balance is important to master in order to establish an environment that supports both personal growth and the growth of others. If a leader is consumed by managing processes, their ability to lead and facilitate growth can be greatly obscured.

  32. Christina Joseph

    In order to be an efficient manager, leadership qualities should also be displayed throughout the everyday tasks. In order to stimulate growth within one’s organization, managers should be able to speak to employees on a 1:1 basis in order to find ways to educate and grow employees. Managers delineate tasks for the entire department which contributes to the growth of the entire organization. When managers become leaders, their daily operations are accounted for while also maintaining an inspiring and motivating environment.

  33. Kimberly Fowler

    A team player is someone who is going to guide the team to a positive and efficient / productive day. There is no I in team. We should always communicate and work as one and be willing to help each other out. TEAM WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK.!!!!!!! Our patients and their parents are looking for positive vibes and up beat staff to take care of their child. Its all about customer service / and making the patient and their family members at ease and comfortable when they are visiting TCH.

  34. Heather Lauterbach

    It is important to find a process that works best for your unit to ensure moral is high while everyone is working towards a common goal of providing safe and effective patient care. Being organized and having an individualized process is the key to success.

  35. Management skills and leadership skills can’t be separated. Employees look to their managers for assignments, but they also look for feedback in the form of coaching, training and encouragement. Tying every job to the company’s larger goals and inspiring them to contribute is just as important as ensuring they get their everyday work done.

  36. Helen Grosskreuz

    Initiating change while challenging yourself and others to grow is a leadership skill. Identifying resources and devising a process to bring change to fruition is a management skill. People who do both simultaneously achieve great things!

  37. Kaye Fisher

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. A leader must adapt to change to make progress, and to be a good example for their team.

  38. We feel this everyday in the PFW nicu, our leaders are the best. I have been here 16 years and we are truly blessed by the leaders that represent us and support us. They give us the freedom to be the nurse we want to be, without micro-managing us, but challenge and guide us to be better and stronger and work harder for our families and babies so they get the best care possible. They hear our concerns and work for solutions WITH us, not necessarily for us. They definitely lead from the front, going to conferences and other neonatal learning opportunities and represent, teach and help other hospitals grow as well. That’s what leaders do, they help in many different areas (not for awards or even thank you’s but because they just care and want all babies to have the best care) and in the PFW NICU, we have some of the best around.

  39. Ashley Hamilton

    Its important to find balance between leading people and managing processes because while managing processes is important to ensure positive results/outcomes it can not provoke positive change. Leading people is always about influence. By definition, influence is the capability to have an effect on the behavior, character, and development of someone. Influence will inspire your team to make a difference!

  40. Leading and managing are two different things, I’ve learned this in many of my healthcare management classes. Leaders inspire and motivate whereas managers keep things running and organized. Although different, it’s important to have both.

  41. Simon Sinek said, “There are two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.”
    Corporate culture matters. How management chooses to treat its people impacts everything – for better or for worse. Upper management also needs to ensure this corporate culture is followed throughout the organization and not lost at the unit level where it could have the biggest impact – for better or for worse.

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