Women in Leadership: Mary Clark
Mary Clark currently serves as senior vice president of provider relations at One Call. Mary carries over 30 years of healthcare executive management experience. Throughout her career, she has learned many leadership lessons along the way. The biggest lesson; people will never forget how you make them feel.
If your career was a book, what would be the title of the current chapter?
“Surround Yourself with Good People’.
Being surrounded by a good team, allows me to trust them to handle tactical day-to-day implementations. This gives me the ability to lead my team on a strategic level and drive for opportunities.
What does success mean to you?
To me, it’s very simple – making it happen. This means communicating clear goals, teaching them the ‘why’ behind what we are doing, helping them to understand the ‘why’ and getting the task done.
Define a great leader. What are some traits you think great leaders possess?
In my mind, a great leader possesses these three traits:
Social leadership. A leader must be a great influencer and collaborator. A person has to be able to bring a team together to advance a collective goal.
Agility. Being able to be adaptable, creative and curious enough to embrace innovative thinking on a team is a must.
Energy! Your team feeds off of you, so if you come into the room with vitality, resilience and drive for achievements, especially when you are faced with obstacles, your team will follow suit.
Who are the people in your life who make you a better person – and a better leader?
While I have had many great mentors in my career, my first and foremost being my parents. They taught me early on that nothing in life comes easy and to achieve success, I have to work hard.
Is there an interesting fact most people wouldn’t know about you?
I grew up in a military family. My entire adolescent life was spent moving from one state to another, resulting in attending ten different school systems. In high school alone, I attended three different schools. It is already awkward being a teenager, adding the ‘new kid on the block’ stamp to the list. It was in these years that I learned how to excel at being thrown into the unknown and to navigate new environments. I didn’t realize back then how valuable those lessons were and how relevant they still are today.
What are some of the key leadership lessons you would want to pass along to others?
Do the right thing. Be a person who contributes to your team. Learn to take risks, speak up and think outside the box.
What are some things you have had to unlearn?
The power of your voice is stronger than the written word. E-mail and text are taking over traditional phone conversations. Although it may be easier to multitask and just type a hurried response, electronic words aren’t the only form of communication. It is just too easy to send a quick e-mail and not think about how it is going to be received on the other end. There is no emotion in text and that leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation. I have had to learn that sometimes it is just better to pick up the phone and let people hear my voice.
What are you reading?
The Confidence Code. This is one of my favorite reads of all times – I even gave it to my daughter to read. It shares practical guides to understanding the importance of confidence and learning how to achieve it. It’s a fantastic read for women of all generations.
If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what rule would you make?
Be present at meetings. How many times do you walk into a meeting or a conference and attendees have their laptops and phones out? Today’s world is filled with instant communication, which is great for being able to multitask and feeling like you’re able to be more productive. I truly believe that if we shut the laptops and powered down phones during meetings we could have better quality and more productive meetings. Doing this allows you to give yourself the power to listen and think without distraction.