Section: CME Category: Life Skills

Leadership, Mentorship and The Role You Play

Matthew Garoufalis, CWS, DPM

Matthew G. Garoufalis, DPM discusses the value of leading, giving and living. Dr Garoufalis examines well-known quotes and further interprets them.

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Goals and Objectives
  1. Understand the attributes that help define a leader
  2. Understand the role of mentorship
  3. Understand that Success, Leadership and Mentorship are mutually inclusive
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    Matthew Garoufalis has disclosed that he is a consultant, adviser and speaker for Ortho Dermatologic, MiMedx, Acelity.

  • Lecture Transcript
  • TAPE STARTS – [00:00]

    Male Speaker: From the life skills section, my good friend and colleague Dr. Matthew Garfield is going to talk to us about Leadership, Mentorship and The Role that You Play. I don’t need to introduce Matt, he’s infamous and he has spoken to you many times this weekend. So, with no further ado, please welcome Dr. Garfield.

    Dr. Matthew Garfield: Okay. Leadership. I just put all that jazz on there. I did a little leadership in my life okay, but anyways. When I was asked to do this, I decided to do an experiment and you guys will let me know what you think of this. Whenever we talk of a leadership and mentorship and all that stuff, there’s all these traits and all that that the books have been written about this ad nauseam. And I said, who am I to talk about this? So, I decided to do it a little differently. I’m going to talk about these traits but I’m going to do it in the words of other people by their quotes. And with a little interpretation on my part, so let’s see how this goes. These are the learning objectives just some of the attributes that help to define a leader, understand a little bit about mentorship, understand the success. Leadership and mentorship are all mutually inclusive. No disclosures for this.

    Let’s start with education. In each of these categories, there’ll be one quote that is in bold print. That’s probably what I think might be the most important of the quotes here, but they’re all important. “Anyone who stops learning is old whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays strong” from Henry Ford. I can’t tell you these few days how many pages of notes I have taken. So, hopefully you all have taken at least as many notes or at least as many nuggets from the presentations that were here over the past few days. But you need to keep learning. Some of these other quotes say the same thing. The sign of intelligence is that you are constantly wandering. I like this, idiots are always dead sure about everything, about every damn thing they say and doing in their life. Think about people you know, okay, you probably know a lot of idiots, right. They’re always, this is the way to do it and they’re like, no it didn’t turn out that way, did it?

    The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combines them in creative ways. Something about creativity, we’ll touch on creativity in a bit. Associations, otherwise known as who do you hang with. This is interesting because you begin to look at other people and people that you think are leaders and who do they associate with, what did they do. Let’s start with the bold one first because this is something I tell my residents. “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. That’s how you break the plateau and reach to the next level.” You heard Dr. Weil say something similar to that earlier today. But how about you are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with. That’s almost scary. Think about the five people you spend most of your time with and you may go, oh no, I’m in trouble, right. But no, you’re not, I mean you change and evolve through time. Right now you’re spending time with a certain number of people and that’s just the way it works out. It’s when you have a choice of people that you want to spend time with that’s when that pertains.

    This one is always funny, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you were in the wrong room.” All that means is that you constantly have to strive to improve yourself. And the only way that you improve yourself is to be with people that are smarter than you because you rise to that level. “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.” Interesting, yeah.

    Okay. Attitude. This is something that I speak to my residents through time constantly. You heard Lowell speak about this many, many different times. “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” Well, so that’s from Emerson okay, he might know something about being introspective. So, that’s kind of interesting. How about the quote from Buddha, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.”


    That’s very true, that is absolutely spot-on. “It’s your attitude at the beginning of a task that determines success or failure.” This can be put into practical application almost every single day when you get a new task to do, do you grumble, kick something, be mad about it, that’s not going to be a good task, not going to work out well in the long run.

    Little thing in them in the middle about self-awareness and emotional intelligence, there’s a lot of literature out about emotional intelligence now. But we need to be aware of our space, our time in space and others around us and what their perception is of us as just as what our perception is of them. That’s emotional intelligence and how do we react to that? Happiness like unhappiness is a proactive choice, that’s again, well.

    Vision. You always hear leaders that have vision. Again, you heard it in some of the presentations today and yesterday and about lifetime skills. Vision, you need vision, you need to think outside. You need to think forward. “Purpose is the ultimate fuel that moves you towards your vision.” You need a purpose. Right now, in a residency program your purpose is to get through your program. But beyond that, beyond that, you need to think beyond that. When you’re going through hell, keep going. Is that the definition of a residency program? I’m not sure. For some people, it is but not really. I just put that one in there for fun because it was one of Winston Churchill’s most famous quotes during the war. Focus on your journey, not the destination because you know only at one point in time you’re constantly in motion.

    Ah yes, failure. Failure, in a nutshell if you don’t fail, you can’t grow. Everybody who’s ever been a leader has suffered a significant amount of failure. I can speak from personal, personally that is true but if you just look at some of these quotes, the bottom one, let’s start with the bottom one because I use this almost every day from Nelson Mandela who’s had a little bit of failure in his life. “I never lose. I either win or learn.” So, it’s not win or lose, it’s win or learn. What looks like could be a loss, you just got shut down for something. You got nailed, you got shut down. You didn’t lose, you learn from that, you grow and you move forward.

    Zig Ziglar in the middle. “Make failure your teacher, not your undertaker.” Learn from everything. You probably have seen the quote from Michael Jordan, only the greatest basketball player of all time. “I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games, 26 times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Spot-on, absolutely. Failure is a part of success. Failure is a part of leadership. Don’t look at it negatively. Look at it as a learning experience. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” So, when your spouse calls you an idiot for the dumb thing you just did, no, no, no it’s just you’re learning. You’re moving on. You’re going to achieve greatly.

    “Leaders may let you fail yet not let you be a failure.” In teaching residents, in my entire career I’ve taught residents, I bring them into the OR and a hand in the blade and I know that they don’t know shit. They don’t know what they’re going to do. They have no idea that they’re going to go skin-to-skin and they are trembling and shaking in their boots. I just go, just do what you’ve pictured in your mind, just do it. And they go and they put the blade down and they skive the skin, right. Not a big deal, we know how to fix that, we’ll get through it but you don’t let them fail. You walk them through the procedure and make it a success. So, that’s what leaders do, that’s fun.

    Boy, this is huge, integrity and compassion. You’ll know lots of leaders.


    You know, already know some leaders and you may know some of them are scumbags because they don’t have integrity. But somehow they’ve achieved that leadership position. Sometimes they have a lot of compassion, hopefully they do. “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Again, this is Teddy Roosevelt, but you heard this earlier when Dr. Weil was up here speaking. Same concept about compassion and integrity. “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” You are always demonstrating your character, always, always, always and when you continue to do that with integrity and compassion, guess what happens to your reputation, it skyrockets. So, it’s an easy thing to do.

    And of course, we’ve all read the quote from Maya Angelou, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Again, to emphasize, Dr. Weil said earlier about your compassion towards patients. It’s how you make them feel, how you make them trust you. That’s huge, integrity and compassion, absolutely cornerstones to your success.

    Mentorship and giving back. I can’t tell you how strongly I believe in giving back. You always give back, you have to give more than you receive. The only way you’re going to become a success and/or become wealthy is by giving it all away. There are some quotes here that say that. First of all Winston Churchill on the bottom. “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” And that’s what will stand out if you can constantly give, give your time, your attention, your thoughts, your input and of course your alma mater will want your money too and you can do that if you’d like. But make a life by what we give is absolutely essential.

    Socrates, “I cannot teach anybody anything; I can only make them think.” Which there’s no money in thinking but it’s all about mentoring. Think, think how you can affect other people. Michelle Obama, I figured I’d throw a recent person that we all know in there. “Success isn't about how much money you make, it's about the difference you make in people's lives.” And that’s very true, very true. Leadership is ultimately about serving others and helping them become the best version they can be. No one’s going to be like you. No one’s going to be like the person over there, but if you can help that person be the best that they can become then that’s mentorship, that’s leadership, that’s what you’re doing to help.

    See this was short and sweet. Closing. These are some of the best quotes. Helen Keller, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that is open for us.” So, we face disasters all the time, opportunities that maybe look like they were blossoming and then fell apart, the door closes or we just got dumped or fired or something like that and we’re sitting there in despair, going what happened, what happened. It’s always an opportunity, it is always, always an opportunity. We may not know it, we may not know it at that time and we may not choose to believe it at that time. But it is an opportunity and you have to look for the new opportunity and it may not pop up for a while, but it will be there. “Don't look back; you're not going that way.” Yeah, what has happened has happened? Move on, don’t look back. You have a bright future in front of you. Take advantage of that bright future that’s where the rainbow is at. Of course, being a football guy of course the Bears were getting their butts kicked by Tampa Bay right now. Being a football guy, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we will catch excellence.” Okay, that’s a good compromise, right, Vince Lombardi. That quote is up in the Packers locker room in Green Bay. That’s a good quote.


    “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That’s leadership and that’s a mentorship put together in one line. You don’t have to take credit for everything. Don’t take credit for everything, give it away. Give the credit to other people and it will come back to you tenfold all the time. You’re working on a group project together, give it away, give the credit to somebody else. Congratulate somebody else for completing that project, always. Lead, give, live. Those are pretty much three words to live by; lead, give back, give back, give back in terms of mentorship and then live; enjoy your life because you have to stay positive and forward looking. And when you do that, you’re going to have a great time. You’re going to have a wonderful time. So, hopefully, using this kind of a demonstration, the thoughts of other people has been interesting. Let me know what you think.

    Thank you. Thanks for hanging around.