Office of Culture and Experience

The Responsibility of Leaders to Take Action

August 16, 2017 • Leadership

I saw red. You could argue that I really saw orange and that my computer monitor made it appear red. Either way, I was staring at a chart with three colors: red, yellow, and green. I was aware of the concept of a net promoter score, the research behind it, and the valuable information it provides. However, this net promoter score was different. This net promoter score reflected the perceptions and experiences of my team.

I looked back at my manual to understand the data and there it was, the thirteenth question on the Gallup Engagement Survey, “On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend UNT System to a friend or colleague as a great place to work?” Once you ask this question, you accept a level of responsibility for the answer. The thirteenth question produced a fundamental piece of information, that when paired with the rest of the Gallup Engagement Survey, provides a level of transparency to our work-life experience. The actions we then take as leaders send a clear message to our team. If we expect our team members to come to the table and provide honest answers, then each team member can expect their leadership to use the results to support the team.

The data in the Gallup survey serves as the starting point for two important conversations: how are we as team members experiencing UNTHSC and how is my team experiencing my leadership. Open dialogue is key to success and it is my responsibility to demonstrate respect for my team by being genuine in the process. The diversity of experience among team members helps identify strengths in process, structure, and culture. It also builds a framework of collaborative development opportunities that foster improvements and growth for the entire team.

As a leader I must extend trust to my team to define good experiences. While the type of work our team does may be in direct alignment with the vision of the university, the collective purpose of team members is what results in alignment of action. When we each share our why we build that collective purpose.

I am glad I saw red. When we take the time to listen to the experiences that inform our team members’ choices we begin to understand how to move forward as one team.


Katy Lee Kemp

Director, Clinical Education

HSC Fellows Candidate 2017