Texas Children’s CEO shares essential qualities for strong leadership

Boardroom

After spending 30 years as the head of Texas Children’s Hospital, CEO Mark Wallace has learned a lot over the years about effective leadership. And, he tells Healthcare Dive, the most important is being visible to the people you lead.

“Leadership is the sum of three things: Vision plus structure plus people, with people by far being the most important ingredient in the equation,” he told the publication.

Wallace took over Texas Children’s in 1989, according to Healthcare Dive, when it was one seven-floor building with 1,400 employees. Under his watch, the publication notes that the organization has grown to 73 locations across Houston and more than 10,000 staff members. 

While Wallace was a strong force in the C-suite during that period of growth and change, he told Healthcare Dive it’s important that staff members see him face to face and that he participates in all levels of the hospital. “Employees want to see me out in the organization, taking to them, listening to them, getting answers from them and showing I care about them,” he told the publication.

A strong presence across a hospital or health system can also help a CEO make the facility a key part of the community it serves, too, he said.

Wallace said he also takes time to groom leadership within Texas Children’s itself. As CEO turnover remains a problem in the industry, many hospitals and systems are looking within to replace leaders when they leave,

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