May 6, 2019

Choose one of Mark Wallace’s first five Leadership Maxims:

  1. Leadership always influences or determines outcomes – not some of the time, but all of the time.
  2. Leadership applies to everyone.
  3. We lead in our professional lives and in our personal lives.
  4. We all should have our personal definition of leadership.
  5. The key characteristics to look for when selecting people are a winning attitude and a strong work ethic.

If you’d like a refresher on Mr. Wallace’s Leadership Maxims before writing your submission, watch his short Maxims videos here on the blog.
Write about how that maxim applies to you and your job at Texas Children’s. Please keep your stories between 350 and 500 words.
Click here to read Mr. Wallace’s blog about this year’s maxim leadership challenge.

Please email your submissions to Texas Children’s News at

December 1, 2015

Hundreds of Texas Children’s supporters turned out last week to The Forum Luncheon in The Woodlands. Hosted by The Development Department, the event focused on the imminent opening of Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands and its growing leadership and clinical teams.

Michelle Riley-Brown, who was named president of the new community hospital at last year’s forum in The Woodlands, unveiled her administrative leadership team:

  • Julie Barrett, director of Outpatient and Clinical Support Services
  • Hillary Griffin, senior project manager
  • Bobbie Jehle, senior project manager
  • Trent Johnson, director of Business Operations and Support Services
  • Cathy Pierantozzi, director of Human Resources
  • Ketrese White, director of Patient Care Services

“These are some of Texas Children’s strongest, most dedicated employees,” Riley-Brown said. “They undoubtedly will make Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands a success for patients, families and the community as a whole.”

Dr. Charles Hankins, chief medical officer at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, took the podium next and told the audience that his clinical team is growing by the day and that his newest recruit was for the position of Chief Surgical Officer.

Dr. Jeffrey Shilt of Idaho State University and formerly of St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital in Boise was named Chief Surgical Officer this month. Shilt is an orthopedic surgeon who has practiced and been on the academic staff at universities in North Carolina, Idaho and Louisiana. He earned his medical degree from the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine and did postdoctoral training at institutions in Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee and North Carolina.

“Dr. Shilt is a perfect fit for this position,” Hankins said. “We are glad he decided to join us and look forward to bringing the people of The Woodlands the best pediatric care the nation has to offer.”

The remainder of the luncheon was dedicated to the introduction of an additional three new physicians who will be working in The Woodlands:

  • Dr. Kristin Ernest, sports medicine
  • Dr. Michael Gleason, hematology/oncology
  • Dr. Charles Hughes, otolaryngology

Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands will open its doors to outpatient care in the fall of 2016 and inpatient services the following year. Once completed, the facility will be a 560,000-square-foot complex and will offer inpatient and outpatient specialty pediatric care. Facilities will include 18 emergency center rooms, 85 outpatient rooms, five radiology rooms, four operating rooms and 32 acute-care and 12 PICU beds with future expansion plans for up to 200 beds.

Along with serving families throughout The Woodlands Area, Texas Children’s anticipates serving families in counties throughout Greater North Houston, including Montgomery, Walker, Grimes, Liberty, Harris, Polk, San Jacinto and Hardin.

Hundreds gathered Wednesday at the Forum Luncheon in The Woodlands to show their support for Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, which, when complete in 2017, will be Texas Children’s second community hospital.

November 25, 2014

Last week, Jim McIngvale, better known as Mattress Mack, spoke at the West Campus Patient Experience Leadership Meeting.

The fast-talking owner of the Gallery Furniture retail chain shared his best practices in customer service that he’s developed over the past 33 years. His catchphrase, “The customer is the business, and the business is the customer” resonated with the group of more than 30 employees who strive to make the patient experience a positive one on a daily basis.

McIngvale added that in order to convey passion to your customers, you have to be passionate about the job you are doing. This is a quality Mattress Mack said is very evident at Texas Children’s Hospital.

January 31, 2014
Amid all the theories of what makes a successful leader, one thing I’ve learned over the course of my career is that leadership always influences and determines outcomes – not some of the time, but all of the time.

This is one of the lessons I’ve devised to help grow myself as a leader and develop future leaders as well. I began exploring the idea in earnest in my mid-20s when a colleague asked what I believed defined a great leader. I drew a blank.

That moment compelled me to develop a formal definition of leadership for myself. It took more than a year of reading, writing and contemplation before I crafted a satisfactory definition.

Leadership, to me, is Vision + Structure + People.


First, a successful leader must be a true innovator. Having vision and being motivated by an instinctual drive is not a learned skill but is honed over time.


The second component – structure – keeps a leader grounded while also providing the space and time needed to remain a creative visionary.


Last, people are unequivocally the most important ingredient in the definition of a successful leader. The team you’ve built to achieve your common vision will define your tenure as a leader. The colleagues you have committed to leading will ultimately be the most important factor in the entire equation.

While these three components have laid the foundation for my work at Texas Children’s Hospital, there is not a universal definition of leadership. In fact, to become successful, you must create your own definition based on who you aspire to be, how you want to lead, your personality and your core values.

At Texas Children’s, I ask every leader, from managers to executives, to submit their own definition of leadership, and we keep these on file. This helps new leaders hone in on what is important by providing a guide that ensures everything they do comes back to that definition. What’s more, in a large organization like Texas Children’s, it also helps me and my executive team learn more about each leader on our team.

Ultimately, harnessing your own definition of what makes a leader is the way to become a great leader yourself. When I meet someone who aspires to be a great leader, my first question to them is, “What is your definition of leadership?” It is a question I encourage everyone to thoughtfully consider.

Create your own definition, then start living it.

This editorial was authored by Texas Children’s President and CEO Mark A. Wallace and was originally published in the Houston Business Journal on January 17, 2014.