Director of Human Resources
H-E-B Grocery Company
Myric Polhemus has been in a role of “people leadership” for most of his 20-year career with H-E-B and has grown his love of people leadership into a director of human resource role where he oversees 18,000 employees.
Polhemus began his career at H-E-B after receiving a degree in psychology and sociology from Texas State in 1997 where he has had the opportunity to lead large groups of diverse people in the dynamic and innovative environment of H-E-B. Polhemus has done it all—from running 150-million-dollar-a-year business units to leading areas of H-E-B that produced revenues of over half a billion dollars.
In his current role, he leads a team of HR professionals who build and maintain people strategies for the San Antonio area and company. These areas include recruiting, talent growth and management, business partnerships and employee relations. Polhemus is the recipient of 10 leadership awards in his roles at H-E-B that include The Bob Brant Leadership Award, People Development Award and Excellence in Management.
One of Polhemus’s passions is speaking on topics such as leadership trends, talent, career growth strategies and organizational leadership. He is a member of the Texas State School of Liberal Arts Advisory Board and a guest speaker at Texas State for students who are interested in career growth.
Personal vulnerability – leadership, innovation and talent
Earlier this year I fulfilled a lifelong dream; I played live music for the first time. While incredibly overwhelming it was pure joy. It wouldn’t have been possible had I not allowed myself to be open to the possibility of failure and embarrassment. I was vulnerable. As I reflected on this feeling of vulnerability and my surprising comfort with it I wondered where else it played a role in my life. That’s when it dawned on me — my experience as a corporate leader was littered with situations where being vulnerable was pivotal to my success.
I’ve had the opportunity to lead dozens of teams varying in size and function. Invariably there are team members who become the voice of dissent. They challenge the team’s direction, corporate vision even my leadership. I call them the “productive malcontents”. As opposed to shunning their ideas I find myself engaging them fully and embracing them. I make myself accessible to their points of view because I’m willing to be open and ultimately personally vulnerable to their criticism. I have found when I take this approach the environment for rapid innovation and the growth of these “productive malcontents” is unparalleled. It’s my belief vulnerable leadership is the difference.