We sat down with Kevin McDonald, managing partner and office lead of Credera Houston, to learn more about him and his plans for the Houston office. Kevin explains his approach to leadership, opens up about his passion for people and good BBQ, and shares what excites him about the future of the Houston office.
Q&A With Kevin McDonald
Tell us about your journey to become the Houston office lead for Credera.
My journey with Credera started in 2016 when I was recruited to lead and build the Houston office. At that time, Credera had around 230 employees and only three U.S. offices. We had 10 consultants in Houston, minimal brand equity in the market, few to no local clients, and no dedicated office space. But we had a dream of building an office that would serve the world’s leading clients and be passionately dedicated to people and values.
Fast forward to modern day Credera: we’re a global, boutique consulting firm with approximately 2,000 people and 14 offices around the world. We joined Omnicom Group and are the global management and technology consulting firm inside the network, working with the world’s leading brands. We’ve acquired other consulting firms, have nearshore and offshore build centers, and have our own network of digital systems integrators that industrialize our consulting offering. All the while, we’re still deeply rooted in our core values and our culture.
It’s been an incredible growth journey, but to me, the most rewarding aspect has less to do with the growth itself and everything to do with the growth of our people. To see the people I love growing and developing, to see them serve each other, our clients, and our communities, and to see them accomplish their dreams has inspired me the most.
What excites you most about the future of the Houston office?
As we look forward, the journey of building a global boutique firm that is passionately dedicated to people and values continues to drive me. There is a healthy tension between growth and culture. As things get bigger, we strive to make them smaller. This same notion is true for our Houston office. As our office continues to grow, not just in terms of size, but in terms of geography, industries, clients, etc., we strive to be known for having the best culture of any firm of any size in Houston, remaining diverse and inclusive, and serving each other as a family.
What are your passions outside of work?
I have several passions outside of work that you’ll generally find me doing, but I’ll just talk about a few of them.
First, I have a love for culinary arts and specifically craft barbeque. I love fire and meat, I love the process of honing your craft, and I love to eat! I have several smokers and grills in my backyard and plenty more I’d love to have to expand my outdoor kitchen. It’s kind of an addiction for me.
Next, I have a love for the outdoors and hunting. There’s something adventurous and spiritual about being out in nature, in the wild, exploring and stalking. I love the beauty of watching a morning sunrise and the fellowship and comradery of a hunting camp. I’m the type of person who’d love to spend a week or two in a remote cabin in the middle of nowhere. And did I mention I like to eat?
Lastly, I’m passionate about my family and serving my community. I believe my purpose is to make a positive impact in the lives of others, to build relationships, to encourage, and to serve. I care deeply about the legacy I’ll leave behind and impacting generations to come. This starts with my family and those closest to me, but goes beyond that to those I lead and mentor, as well as anyone I might come in contact with. My heart is to serve others and equip them so they in turn can do the same for others.
How would you describe your approach to leadership?
I’m a people-first leader and view my leadership platform as a way to serve others, develop leaders, and inspire teams to accomplish more than they thought possible.
I also subscribe to the situational leadership theory, which is a leadership model created by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard. Its premise is that the most successful leaders are multi-dimensional and adapt their leadership style to the performance readiness of the organization they lead combined with the specific nature of the work that needs to be accomplished. My natural style is more vision and strategy oriented and relational in nature where I purposefully give emerging leaders space to grow and develop.
Throughout my career, I’ve learned how to lean in quicker to become more directive and how to fully trust and delegate given how high of a bar I have for the quality of work produced. It’s made me a better leader and improved the effectiveness and efficiency of the organizations I serve and lead.
What are your top recommendations of things to do in Houston?
Houston is one of the most diverse cities, if not the most diverse city, in the United States. This is to some extent attributable to the globalization of the energy industry and our lower cost of living. This diversity makes our food scene one of the best in the world.
I’m a foodie, so my recommendations for things to do tend to lean in that direction. If you have a few days in Houston, I’d definitely recommend trying a few of my favorite places.
Lankford’s Grocery – classic eggs, bacon, hash browns, and black coffee
The Breakfast Klub – chicken and waffles
Rio Verdence – huevos rancheros
Truth BBQ – Texas Magazine #3 BBQ for 2021 – brisket/sausage, potato salad, and beans
Original Ninfas or El Tiempo on Navigation – classic Tex-Mex
Houston This is Soul Food – fried chicken, mac and cheese, collard greens, and sweet tea
Uchi – sushi – try the hot rock wagyu beef not just maguro
Hugos – higher-end Mexican – chamorro de puerco
Taste of Texas – iconic Houston steakhouse – tomahawk ribeye with roasted brussels sprouts and bacon jam
Interested in Working at Credera?
Are you seeking a career at a great workplace? Consider taking the next step on your professional journey with Credera. Check out our open opportunities, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, or check out our Houston office pages to learn more about those offices.
Credera has many offices and incredible leaders around the world. Learn more about them here.