President POV

Winning is More Than Taking Credit
by Jenna Saucedo-Herrera

A few adages collected from family, teachers, and mentors inspire how I approach life, one being “Let your performance speak for you.” Or, as the brilliant comedian Steve Martin put it, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” Our region is good—we manage rapid growth and maintain an inclusive culture all while balancing a low cost of living with a high quality of life. But to be “so good they can’t ignore” us, it will take highly coordinated, top-level performance by all.

Along with our regional partners and the business community, SAEDF recently initiated a regional strategic planning process to build on (and regionalize) our current economic development efforts. Over the past few years we’ve made progress breaking down siloes and reducing duplicate efforts, but I expect to see a recommendation for further collaboration or consolidation at the end of the process.

South Central Texas has a get-it-done culture. We see problems and mobilize to solve them which is an excellent trait that can unfortunately lead to lots of organizations and initiatives attempting to address lots of purposes. Our region’s economic development efforts are still fragmented and our resources have been decentralized, largely for these reasons. It’s helped shape San Antonio into the diverse and inclusive community we are today, but has also caused confusion and resource strain. When compared to some of today’s top-performing metros, even within the state of Texas, like Dallas and Houston, an engaged business community and unified approach to talent development, advocacy, and economic development are the recipe for success. Today we have the right leadership in place at these organizations to rally around common goals and affect change. We need not look to elected officials for vision and direction when the answer lies in industry-driven collaboration. Our directive is clear.

Our goal is for the region to be a top choice for c-suite executives, families, young professionals, and military to live and build careers. We have the momentum and talent to make it happen — and at the end of the strategic planning process, we’ll have the game plan.

So, who will get the credit when we achieve that next level? I honestly couldn’t care less. Our collective success is far bigger than credit. To get to where we need to be, it will take setting egos and agendas aside, working toward a common goal, and holding ourselves accountable to perform and win. We’ll be a better region for it, regardless of who gets the credit.