Remember the Titans: Dr. Noseworthy, Other Leaders, Lauded in Harvard Business Pub #ThrowbackThursday

Recently, while catching up on the latest news out of Harvard Business School (as one does), we saw a familiar name. Former Mayo Clinic President and CEO John Noseworthy, M.D., was one of four leaders highlighted as retiring "titans who defined a new era in business during the past decade." US Bancorp's Richard Davis, a member of Mayo's Board of Trustees; PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi; and Unilever's Paul Polman were also profiled in the piece, which lauded these leaders for recognizing "that business had to contribute to society in meaningful ways, not just profit from it." By example, they "encouraged other corporate leaders to embrace this multi-stakeholder approach," according to Bill George, former Medtronic CEO who's now a senior fellow at Harvard Business School.

As the leader of Mayo Clinic, Dr. Noseworthy "built on the values of the Mayo brothers and Mayo Clinic's historic mission of putting patients first," George, also a member of the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees, writes. Dr. Noseworthy did that in part by focusing on "the most complex diseases patients faced" and supporting the development of "new treatments for many diseases." He also provided "leadership in Washington" during the development of the Affordable Care Act to ensure the legislation "gave priority to patient outcomes." For these and other contributions, Dr. Noseworthy "will be remembered for elevating Mayo as a great healer for millions of people," George concludes.

We also peeped a profile on Dr. Noseworthy in the February issue of Rochester Magazine, sandwiched (ahem) between the pages of the publication's annual collection of "Rochester's Favorite Restaurants." Writer Steve Lange starts by noting that Dr. Noseworthy's tenure as CEO was "marked by plenty of positives," including an increase in patient numbers and revenue, as well as numerous No. 1 rankings from U.S. News & World Report.

Then Lange lets Dr. Noseworthy do the talking on topics including his proudest Mayo accomplishment (guiding Mayo into a single, unified organization); the Canadian health care system ("They're proud of it until they get sick"); and his retirement plans, which include staying in Rochester as well as possibly finding new ways to contribute to health care. "If I do that," Dr. Noseworthy says, "it will be in an environment where I feel I can bring the voice of the patient and the voice of the medical profession to make that effort more successful. That's what drives me."

The profile ends with Dr. Noseworthy's reflections on what he'll miss most about Mayo Clinic. The answer, it seems, is just about everything. "It's a marvelous place to work," says Dr. Noseworthy, who walked to work most days. When he saw Mayo Clinic come into view, he'd look up and think, "I can't believe I have the privilege of working here." That has "never worn off in 28 years," Dr. Noseworthy says. "I'm focusing on looking forward, but when I look back I feel very, very gratified to have had this privilege."

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