In this episode, Barbara and Cheryl discuss:
-Why  the “F” word is such a challenge for everyone
-How failure can also be perceived as something positive rather than negative
-Why it is beneficial not to be discouraged when faced with failure
-How Collaboration with Medical Staff is a sure way to come up with efficient solutions for patient’s problems
-Why having a positive attribute enables you to go far in life

Key Takeaways:

” The whole point is to get all of the how NOT to do somethings out of the way and quickly, fail faster;  succeed sooner.” – Cheryl Lentz.

Connect with Cheryl Lentz:

Website: | |
Instagram: (@drcheryllentz)

Connect with Barbara Hales:

Business website:


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Power to the Patient: The Medical Strategist


Dr. Barbara Hales 0:04
Welcome to another episode of marketing tips for doctors. I’m your host, Dr. Barbara Hales. And you’re listening to Marketing Tips for Doctors.  Today as a guest, we have Cheryl Lentz. Cheryl is known as an academic entrepreneur. She is a unique and dynamic speaker who intensely connects with her audience, having one foot in academia and one foot in the business and entrepreneurial space. Her goal is to offer the audience pearls of wisdom today to use it tomorrow in their personal and professional lives.

Dr. Barbara Hales 0:53
It is not enough to know the expectation for participants to take action and join Dr. Cheryl on her journey to connect these dots to provide inspiration, knowledge, and counsel to move forward effectively. No glue globally for her writings on leadership and failure and critical and refractive thinking. Dr. Lentz has published more than 52 times with 26 writing awards. As an accomplished university professor, speaker, and consultant. She is an international bestselling author and top quoted polishing professional on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. She took the stage as a TEDx speaker in Farmingdale 2020 in October. Welcome to the show, Cheryl.

Cheryl Lentz 1:53
Thank you so very much. It’s fabulous to be here. Appreciate it.

Dr. Barbara Hales 1:58
I understand that you teach on failure, which seems like a bizarre concept for most people.

The Fear of Failure

Cheryl Lentz 2:07
It does. And it scares the heck out of most bosses that I’ve ever been part of because they’re always a so you want to teach people how to fail. And we’re all okay with this. I’m like, yes, the whole point is to get all of the how not to do something out of the way and quickly, fail faster, succeed sooner. But we don’t like that F word. That f word really scares the heck out of most of us because failure is painful. If we have that perspective, if you look as a failure as a friend, it can just simply be a mastery journal like Malcolm Gladwell, we have to have 10,000 hours just to get to the end. So you’re good at and we don’t like the getting good part.

Dr. Barbara Hales 2:45
So you call this the F word, which is a different connotation for most people. Correct? Why is this F word such a challenge?

Cheryl Lentz 2:58
I think part of it is we punish ourselves with it, we think that we’ve grown up with the idea of their failure is not an option. For example, many gurus of leadership will teach that and I look at them going, if you don’t know how to fail, you’re not going to succeed, you need to have those skills. And we don’t like it because we assume that it doesn’t exist, we avoid it, we try and pretend it doesn’t happen. And it’s painful.

Cheryl Lentz 3:20
When we don’t get everything that we want the first time or maybe the second time, or maybe even the third time, if you look at you know, Edison, it took him over 1000 tries to get the light bulb right. And he just kind of looked at it as that one didn’t work, let’s move on and try something else. But we don’t do something the first time. And oftentimes it shuts us down. And so, we don’t like that effort very much at all.

Dr. Barbara Hales 3:42
So would you say the people that are most apt to succeed are the ones that fail the most?

Failure for Success

Cheryl Lentz 3:51
I think that’s probably an interesting way to look at it. Let’s look at baseball, for example. If you are considered one of the top baseball staff, you have a 500 batting average, you fail every time every other time you go to the plate, that means one in two, and yet we applaud them because most of the time in baseball, you’re only looking at maybe a third of the time that you’re going to have a hitter do something wonderful at the plate.

Cheryl Lentz 4:12
So the idea when you win in basketball, you win in any of the sports things, these are things that we keep trying repeatedly and we keep practicing. But you often, particularly in sports fail more than you succeed. And those who succeed well have very interesting ways because they know how to do it wrong. So they know how to do it right. But isn’t that an interesting way of being able to look at it? Most people if they fail the first time they’re gone.

Cheryl Lentz 4:35
Those who understand failure keep doing it until they get it right and understand that it’s persistence. It’s perseverance. You keep doing it, and eventually, we’ll get there but I am someone who didn’t take a long time to learn that lesson myself. So the TED talk is about and it’s embarrassing to figure out that it took me 30 years to keep trying.

Dr. Barbara Hales 4:55
Well, for our physicians and healthcare professionals, Let me highlight that we are not talking about failing at practicing medicine; our patients are not going to be thrilled with the idea that you succeed after failure. But rather, we are talking about how one promotes oneself or runs our business successfully. And so most professionals, just like any business person, will practice multiple ways of promoting themselves and furthering the visibility of their practice so that in their space, they know what works and what doesn’t, isn’t that correct?

Cheryl Lentz 5:50
I will kind of challenge you a little bit on the medical aspect of it. Well, I’m only a Ph.D. and not an MD. But I am considered a Mayo Clinic misfit, I have been there three times. And I’m one of these very unusual folks that are goofy by Mayo Clinic standards. And yet, they have had to put the critical thinking team to work because I have some very unusual anomalies that we keep working out. And when you are the 1% of the 1%. They do a lot of research and a lot of studies. But the trick is, is that Mayo Clinic does not give up.

Persistence to Find Solutions
Cheryl Lentz 6:21
And neither do your doctors with their patients, you keep looking for answers you don’t give them and say I’m sorry, you have to learn to live with us. But you teach them how to live with us if it’s something that doesn’t have an easy fix or an easy cure. And I think that’s the same principle that we’re working on. And I’m so grateful to the wonderful amazing magicians as I call them at Mayo Clinic, that they didn’t send me away because they didn’t figure it out right away. It’s taken them years to figure it out. And now we have answers.

Cheryl Lentz 6:47
And while I have to learn to live with somebody, that’s exciting, because they’re wonderful people that understand you have to keep working at it. And especially when the answers don’t come easy, or they don’t come quickly. You don’t give up you keep persevering. So I think there’s a lesson here for your MDS as well, is that no, we don’t like to be difficult patients when there are easy answers. But when they don’t come quickly, we appreciate and applaud the doctor who’s willing to love us anyway. And to get us to the other side was still to continue to dig in to find those answers and to do it with love, grace, and kindness. So I think there’s a little bit of lesson here too.


Dr. Barbara Hales 7:20
Well, I certainly agree with you there. If you have a patient that presents with unusual findings, and you’re not sure exactly what that person has, or the treatments that would be most appropriate, then, you know, we can’t give up on that person. Know, we could transfer that person, but you know, it’s gonna bug us forever. We have to persist, and we have to do whatever we can do. To do right by that patient.

Keep Pressing On

Cheryl Lentz 7:51
Exactly. And I think that’s a metaphor for life is you don’t, you know, give up on your child, you don’t give up on your spouse, you don’t give up on any of the medical stuff, you keep trying. And you look at it a different way you bring others to the party, you ask for help. And I think that is an amazing thing. And I’m so grateful to folks at Mayo Clinic because they didn’t get frustrated, they got excited when they saw me and like nobody is excited with a patient that has all kinds of interesting is for them.

Cheryl Lentz 8:17
And I love that they have that. Go get them attitude and that ability to say we’re going to keep looking and eventually found, it was pretty exciting. But some do give up too easily. And I think that’s really the metaphor here is not to give up and keep trying because there’s always something to do. And I like that they did that. And that’s really what’s helped me throughout my life, but to make a career out of failure. You’re right. It’s a little bit ironic. But I often as a college professor will teach the benefits and the gifts of failure when I think that’s really interesting. And it’s accountability. So

Dr. Barbara Hales 8:48
well, that highlights why we have the light bulb today when Edison failed 144 times. And he said no, I didn’t fail 144 times before succeeding with the lightbulb. I just found 144 Other ways that didn’t work as well, until I got to the right one.

Cheryl Lentz 9:13
Exactly. And I’m a professional researcher, and I’m one of the rare people who in my dissertation, I found nothing zero, zilch, nada. And it was a very hard thing for both. And my students to realize that finding nothing is something peculiar in this world of COVID, where we have the ability to have all these researchers working on Okay, that didn’t work. And the more we don’t know what work doesn’t work gets us to What does and we keep finding those repeating.


Cheryl Lentz 9:39
And as a researcher, you have to be prepared for all possible answers including that finding nothing is finding something it was just a way not to build the light bulb. And so we went down another path. And when you have all these people working together, we finally found the paths for COVID than the vaccines and multiple vaccines and multiple paths. And that’s also a really good lesson here for us to think about.

Dr. Barbara Hales 10:00
It also confirms the fact that a team approach really is the way to go. Not one person alone has the answers. But really just collectively, everyone putting their heads together, coming from different approaches will get the job done and find the appropriate solutions.

The essence of collaboration

Cheryl Lentz 10:21
And I think it helps us get there quickly, as well as because you have more people working on some of these things, they will figure out and do a lot of brainstorming. That’s why I like the Mayo Clinic. And a lot of the things we do in academia are we have the team approach. When I walked into the Mayo Clinic, I expected to see one doctor. I had 12 sitting at the table. And I was a little bit taken aback. And they dismissed a few along the way that wasn’t pertinent as soon as we get down to brass tacks.

Cheryl Lentz 10:45
And then there’s like, No, you guys, not your purview, not your thing. And then we’ve stood up with the core team. And that’s where they get they get excited. And that’s the difference, the attitude, not to get discouraged by failure. They were like, Great; now we can dig in. And they like that problem solving that Greer and the ability to find things in there. And it’s I think more about attitude to keep going. That’s what Edison didn’t get all excited about that he didn’t find something. He just kept going until he did. And I think that perseverance and getting excited about not finding anything pull you on.

Cheryl Lentz 11:18
But I will tell you, I was one of the few who didn’t. After the first time I failed at something, I stopped. And that wasn’t very encouraging. It took me a long time. It took me 30 years, and I started again. And that is the lesson is; you just got to keep going because it’s painful. And when you don’t have a mentor or someone to process you or a team to help keep you going. We take failure very personally. And often it diverse, it diverts us such as COVID, again, force compliance. We don’t like being told where we can’t do this. And so if we can look at the gifts of why and ask the right questions, boy, that puts us in a much better place.

Dr. Barbara Hales 11:57
This brings us to a tip that I would like to point out at this time, and that is what you know, is not that it’s crucial. But what I do recommend to make life easier for both physicians and patients is to have all of the positions that you see affiliated with the same location so that you don’t get to a point where you are falling between the cracks. And that you have a team that you may yourself have created with you at the hub, where you could discuss the situation with each section of the wheel. So that together as a team, you know, you could develop the solution. But if you have doctors and researchers at all different locations, it’s just going to be that much harder.

Cheryl Lentz 12:53
Oh, brilliant, brilliant. Absolutely. Amen. Because it’s the ability or reinventing the wheel with each one. And you may not know what something is important, but you as the expert doctor, or the one who went to medical school, that you’re listening to something when you’re doing’ their history, their charting, you’ve come up with something going, Hey, is anyone ever asked or like, I don’t know, I didn’t go to med school. That’s your job.

Cheryl Lentz 13:13
and I always made that comment is I could not put you all in the room at the same time to have the same conversation. So when we see them sequentially or in a different place, they don’t have the complete story. And so they can’t quite fit their piece to your puzzle. So the more we can do, even though we didn’t go to med school, you guys are the heroes here, that it’s really helpful if we can help you help us and that is a great tip. Great tip.

Dr. Barbara Hales 13:35
Yeah, absolutely. When you were a patient in that situation, did you have an advocate that helped you?

Cheryl Lentz 13:44
um, when I was originally put towards someone

Dr. Barbara Hales 13:47
that could help you navigate through the system?

Cheryl Lentz 13:50
Initially, because I became, I came due to being a military spouse. And so the military system handed me over because it was beyond their expertise. And so when I was handed over Mayo Clinic was a logical outcome because it was very unique to the CDC because I lived in Japan for a bit. And this is probably what prompted the illness, that they had to have a lot of divergent people and Mayo Clinic was found with that team effort to put all of the experts in various things because they weren’t sure whose purview was I just had a symptom.

Cheryl Lentz 14:18
And I had here this thing and found out with all the tests eventually that it was very unusual, to different deals, and it took me ten years to heal from it. They put me on the right medicine and Mayo Clinic was part of that, but it was so important to get there I had so many people that there wasn’t that advocate and I think it would have been helpful to have that cheerleader or that Grand Marshal in the parade, if you will, to have coordinate all those Mayo Clinic had much of that but I had to be transferred to them first. So

Dr. Barbara Hales 14:45
So getting back to your expertise. What are two tips that you would recommend to the listeners out there today?

Guests’ Nuggets of Wisdom

Cheryl Lentz 14:57
One of them is your attitude. There is something that a lot of people pessimism isn’t going to help here and we look at the idea of the glasses not, you know, the classes have fully the glasses half empty. If we can look at failure as the benefits and the gift and not the criticism in there, then we have the option which is so powerful is to fill your own glass. Most of us think it’s either the glass is half empty, the glass is half full.

Cheryl Lentz 15:21
But think of the power it has; when you become the advocate, as you’re suggesting, and you fill your own glass, you need to be in charge of your own destiny. And a lot of us, particularly I will tell you, as a non-medical doctor, have a very life-threatening illness. I didn’t know enough, I wasn’t confident enough when I finally was able to take charge and help them help me realize it was me. And I could fire and hire doctors that were needed. And I’ll tell you, that puts you back in a position of control, strength, and empowerment. So, I think a lot of it is empowering in yourself and attitude. So that’s the first thing.

Cheryl Lentz 15:55
The second thing is being able to look at not thinking. There’s something wrong with us if we do not succeed. The first time, I saw a lot of my consulting clients, a lot of my students that they struggle with failure as a punishment, that somehow, we’ve done something wrong, and that it’s something about us in particular, and we often get overwhelmed or we get discouraged. And then, we allow that effort to impact us negatively. So if you can see yourself differently and have that ability to move forward, and I think you’re going to have those tips would be so much better to keep you in the game and to keep moving forward. Because often, one of my mentors has a book called three feet from gold.

Cheryl Lentz 16:39
And it’s we often stop right before the success because we’re tired, we’re frustrated. So you’ve got just to keep going because success could be right around the corner. If you give it one more, try or try something different. And that’s often tough because you know what it is with donor fatigue. There’s illness fatigue. We just get tired of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. If you can change your attitude a little bit and keep going when everything points against you that really can make all the difference. And it did for me both as a patient and as a college professor consultant.

The Book about Failure

Dr. Barbara Hales 17:09
Could you repeat what the title of your book is? And where could we find it?

Cheryl Lentz 17:14
I have a copy of it here, it’s called Failure has no Alibi. I am thrilled because I am a big proponent of Napoleon Hill. Napoleon Hill is one of the oldest As a Man Thinketh. So he is and all of his 17 principles, one of them is about ownership and accountability. And that’s why I like a failure has an alibi. It’s available on Amazon and in all the right places in there. And I’m very happy. And it’s also the foundation for my TED Talk. So if you’re interested in learning a little bit more about failure, I’ve got a TEDx talk as well.

Dr. Barbara Hales 17:44
Okay, well, we are video as well as audio. So could you book up again? You know, read it at their leisure and move your index finger. Yep. Then how to spell your last name. And I noticed that it’s a best seller. So good for you. Congratulations.

Cheryl Lentz 18:02
Thank you very much. And it was such a labor of love. Although I will tell you, it’s the most vulnerable I have ever been. And that’s what one of my coaches has been working on is to not just be after it’s happened, but to have grace and elegance during some of the darker times. And that’s hard to do. And so, putting this out there was the most vulnerable I’ve ever been on stage. So thank you for the opportunity.

Dr. Barbara Hales 18:25
Failure has no alibi. I like that.

Cheryl Lentz 18:30
You may take thank Napoleon Hill for the title. I’ve completely known this is from hysteria, but I love the fact that you have to own it, and you have to take responsibility for it, and then you can fix it. And quite frankly, I fixed most of the ideas that I would leave this world without regret. And that’s my hope.

Dr. Barbara Hales 18:45
Well, thank you so much. That’s so interesting. And thank you for being here with us today.

Cheryl Lentz 18:52
I appreciate it. So very much good luck to your listeners. I hope they will find hope and failure.

Dr. Barbara Hales 18:56
This has been another episode of marketing tips for doctors with your host, Dr. Barbara Hales. Till next time