The measure of excellence: how do you define success?

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Doctor Rich:

Welcome back today. Today, we’re sitting down with Bob Wingo. He is the founder of one of the largest ad agencies in El Paso — they’ve made advertisements for Super Bowl commercials! 

He’s also the chairman of the Burrell College of Medicine. Now this is a little bit outside of the box for us on our channel, but he is one of my big influences on my extra-medical entrepreneurial career. And we have the chance to sit down and speak with him today about our channel.

Don’t have time to read this post? Watch the video here instead!

Bob Wingo:

So when I look back at Richard over the last ten years, I look at humility. I look at someone who has always treated everyone with equal footing. I look at a tremendous leader in the healthcare industry — someone who’s always striving to learn and to become better than he is (even though he’s one of the best there is in this country). He’s always reaching out and trying to ensure that he’s going to raise the bar every single day of his business career.

I guess the most important thing I’d point out about Rich Farnam is that, of his accomplishments as a doctor and a surgeon — none of them supersede his importance as a father, a husband, a family man, and a person that gives back to his community. I can remember like yesterday the time when we were sitting in a board meeting and he was there kind of rubbing his eyes and had kind of a glazed overlook. I said, “What’s up, Richard?” And he said, “Let me show you something.” So he showed me his phone: three new babies. I said, “Three?!” Triplets. I said, “So in other words, no sleep!” And he just smiled.

We’re looking at someone who walks into a board meeting after completing several hours of surgery — and who leaves a board meeting and goes straight back into the operating room (knowing that he’s got other things on his mind than sitting there in a board meeting and dealing with a community board, as well as physicians and key leadership in the hospitals).

He had already gone through years and years and years of training: college, medical school, fellowship, and residency. So he had already done all that. He’d already paid that price. So he knew where he was going and what he wanted to do. And quite frankly, I don’t see any appreciable difference in the approach that he takes today than he did ten years ago! The only difference is a bazillion more surgeries. 

So he’s probably seen a tremendous number of different things, but I think in terms of the value that he brings and how he approaches it — I don’t see any difference. I think he is mindful and respectful. 

One of the things I think that many people have to learn is when you’re very successful, you still have to treat everyone like they’re just as important as you are. He learned that a long time ago — he doesn’t talk down to people. He talks to people, and he treats the person. Whether they’re the shoeshine guy or the CEO of the company — he’s going to treat them with the same reverence and the same sense of purpose. Some people can’t do that, but Rich Farnam can!

I’ve looked at him and his accomplishments over the years: how he’s traveled, the things that he’s done, all of the things he’s done from a surgical perspective, and how he’s kind of changed the landscape on how certain types of surgery are done.

I mean, he is a guy that no matter what he’s doing, he’ll take time to talk to you. One day, I called him up on the phone and he answered. I said, “Hey, how’s it going?” 

He said, “Well, I’m in Vegas.” 

“You’re in Vegas?!” 

“Yeah, I’m in Vegas for a big conference. I’m doing a major presentation over here.” 

I said, “And you’ve got time to talk to me on the phone?”

He said, “I always have time to talk to you.”

So he’s a guy that has always been on my radar as someone that I can reach out to. And in return, he can reach out to me as a board member. Richard Farnam is a guy that you can go out of your way for because he’s always going to go out of the way for you.

I know a little bit about the pain that he went through to reach the levels that he has because I have a daughter who is a gynecological oncologist. When you look at the work that they’ve done — just to get those credentials — and what he’s done: how he studied, how he planned, the sleepless nights, the long hours, the pain, the going back, the making sure… these are the things that separate good from great.

And Richard fits into the great category.

And you know what? Not everyone does — and it’s okay! But he really looks at things with a deeper vision and a deeper purpose. 

He asks himself, “How can I continue to improve? How do I make sure that every single patient feels that they’re special and that they’re being treated in a special way? And can they refer me because I am someone that’s always going to go the extra mile?” The relationship that he builds with his patients goes beyond the operating room, beyond the office visits — to where these are people that become part of his life and part of the lives of his family!

You should never feel like you’ve achieved it all — because you haven’t! Always feel like there’s room to improve. That’s Rich. Rich gets that.  

Always take time to be humble and respectful and to look at people — because we’re all people! We all have different scenarios, different walks of life, different things that we’ve had to deal with. But at the end of the day, when you have someone that can balance all those things and do it at such a high level and a high standard — then I think we really have someone that is really a game changer! 

He’s a goal setter: a leader who is really going to be someone that continues to make a huge difference in this community, as well as many other communities around this country and the world. 

I think he’s always in what I call the “discovery state,” where you ask yourself, “How do I look at this, and how do I improve on this? How do I ask other people’s opinions in my profession that are going to help me come up with better solutions and better conclusions?” And that’s when you look at Rich’s volunteer work and some of the things that he’s done and the accolades that he’s received. 

Why? Because he’s taken time to make a difference

We need more people to do that. And especially because — isn’t it funny how the busy, busy people are the ones that take the time to do the things that make a big difference? And he’s a tremendous example of that.

Doctor Rich:

Thank you for watching and a thank you to Bob Wingo for coming on and sharing his expertise. Make sure to check out all of our other videos on important women’s health topics.