Mayo has what W. Edwards Deming calls "constancy of purpose" — the timeless pursuit of the best patient care in the world. Everyone in every position can see how his or her work serves that goal. I'll never provide direct care for our patients, and yet I see how the work I do today influences the care we, as Mayo Clinic, provide. I love the clarity with which Mayo defines its business and pursues it to excellence. A lot of other companies lose track of their core business as they try to influence the bottom line.
After spending 10 years in public higher education prior to joining Mayo, I could not have anticipated just how differently education at Mayo operates. And operating within an organization as large as Mayo ... well, it's just amazing what kind of coordination is required. And people do an excellent job; it's incredible. It took me some courage to leave my former job, which had become comfortable. But honestly, I really think that getting out of your comfort zone is good. It forces you to analyze your situation, to be creative, to stretch yourself, to learn and adapt. I often tell people that I made the transition to Mayo Clinic to "learn from a new teacher." By that, I mean I was curious to see how other schools operated and how business models are deployed. I can't imagine a better place to learn from than Mayo Clinic.