Dr. Cheryl Lentz: Running From the Failure of Trying to be a Top-Level Organist

Dr. Cheryl Lentz: Running From the Failure of Trying to be a Top-Level Organist

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My guest for Episode #103 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Dr. Cheryl Lentz, “The Academic Entrepreneur.” She is a keynote speaker, faculty at five universities, and publisher at The Lentz Leadership Institute

She is the author of the book Failure Has No Alibi: Learning From the Lessons Failure Teaches. She had a podcast (still available for listening) called “Fail Faster, Succeed Sooner.” You can also watch her TEDx talk on the subject of failure.

In today's episode, Dr. Cheryl tells her “favorite mistake” story about not being allowed to continue as an organ performance major in college. Why did she “run from that failure” to the point of abandoning music altogether? What would she have done differently and how does she help people “process failure”? What happens when we fail? Is failure an “f word”?

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Quotes

"The point is, if you're not willing to fail, you're not going to succeed. Failure is a learning process. That's all it is."
"I've had an amazing life because I was willing to go through the valley of darkness and process it."
"Failure forced me to go into different lanes. And now I go there willingly and reinventing myself now with all kinds of stuff that I do..."


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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)

Mark Graban (1s):

Episode 103, Dr. Cheryl Lentz, the academic entrepreneur, author of the book. Failure Has no Alibi: Learning From the Lessons Failure Teaches.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (12s):

And he was thinking we only get one shot at that's the biggest mistake we could ever make.

Mark Graban (21s):

I'm Mark Graban. This is My Favorite Mistake. In this podcast, you'll hear business leaders and other really interesting people talking about their favorite mistakes, because we all make mistakes, but what matters is learning from our mistakes instead of repeating them over and over again. So this is the place for honest reflection and conversation, personal growth and professional success. Visit our website at my favoritemistakepodcast.com for show notes, links, and more. Go to mark ribbon.com/mistake103. Thanks for listening. Our guest today, Dr. Cheryl is known as “the academic entrepreneur”

Mark Graban (1m 4s):

and in our messages back and forth about getting her onto the show. And I'll tell you more about her in a second. I think she is. I know she's the perfect guest for this show because she said in that message. Yes, I am the queen of failures. So Cheryl, thank you for that. And thank you for being here.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (1m 20s):

You're welcome. It's amazing to have that moniker so late in life, but hey, go big or go home.

Mark Graban (1m 26s):

And there's a lot to talk about that. And some people wouldn't like that moniker or academic entrepreneur is a great moniker. Queen of failures is maybe not so much primary branding, but it's a great thing to say. So we'll have a chance to hear more from Dr. Cheryl about that today, but she is among other things, a keynote speaker. She sits on faculty at five universities. She's the publish publisher. My mistake make mistakes. Sorry. She has the publisher at the lens leadership Institute. She is the author of a book called failure has no alibi learning from the lessons. Failure teaches. So regular listeners are already understanding why she's the perfect guest.

Mark Graban (2m 8s):

She had a radio show it's available in podcast form still called fail faster, succeed sooner. So Cheryl, I, again, I, I almost felt like you should be hosting this show with all of your expertise and thoughts on this subject. So thanks again for being here.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (2m 27s):

Pleasure. I said, hopefully people will learn and that's why I've agreed to be so vulnerable that failure because it was many years. As I tell my story before I could talk about this publicly, and this will hopefully help people get there sooner than I.

Mark Graban (2m 40s):

Yeah. Well, thank you. Thank you for that. And that that's, that's the hope here is, you know, recovering from mistakes, learning from them being okay. Talking about them. So, so Dr. Cheryl, what's your story? What, what's your favorite mistake?

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (2m 54s):

I'm not sure that it's my favorite one, but it's certainly the one, most one that gets most of the interest. I was a classical musician. I've been planning since I was five years old. I was playing and planning to be a classical organist think Notre Dame, cathedral, the big dogs, right? And so I had been accepted to a big 10 university. I transferred into the school. One of the premier, you know, organism, Dr. Gerald Hamilton had accepted me and I was the only undergrad and a graduate program. I'm thinking I'm doing pretty good. Sophomore year. He walked into my practice room and essentially tells me, find a new line of work done. When you were a musician, you take, what's called a jury and it's supposed to help you move from an underclassmen as a sophomore, into being a junior.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (3m 35s):

And I wasn't allowed to take mine. I was dismissed the program. No one's ever dismissed from the program. And I remember I can still hear the click of the door and see walks out of the practice room. And I'm sitting here going, I was prepared for a lot of contingencies, not that one. And it was devastating. It was less than 20 years old. I had no idea there wasn't a plan B I mean, all of my friends and they've had illustrious careers as band directors and classical musicians, and that wasn't to be for me. And so it took me a long time to process it and it was something that's my TED talk is now interesting as the idea of the anatomy of failure. But the idea is I didn't process failure.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (4m 17s):

What I did is I ran from it and I basically put my toys in the sandbox. I basically ran out the doors as you don't want me. I don't want you I'm out of here. And so I ran to my counselor to be able to say, well, what do I do? And so I was still able to able to salvage a career. I'm still graduating in four years with this in summer school, but here's the lesson, particularly now this was forced compliance. This was not my choice. Now my idea of a good time, never even in my purview, not in the rear view mirror, but this was actually in wait for it. I gift now. I did not recognize it as a gift back then. I recognized it. Here's what I heard. I stopped.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (4m 58s):

I am the worst thing ever. I'm never going to count for anything, find a new line of work, blah, blah. And that's all my professor said. And it was just such a harsh slap in the face. There wasn't a plan B. And so I had to, I hate the word pivot, but I had to shift and I was forced to, but here's why I was able to be able to put that into a new career path. And my professor saved me from being yet another out of broke musician. Wasn't that I wasn't good. I wasn't good enough for the Olympic level. And that's what he was training. He was saying Olympians. I didn't know that I heard that I wasn't good at all. That's what we mostly process. And I really believe that if somebody, including him would have helped me process this might've stayed in the game of music.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (5m 43s):

And so what did I did? I put that into a box. I put it in the back of my closet. I didn't play for more than 30 years. 30 years. Music was my sanctuary music was my church. Music is who I was. And I just said, Nope, I'm done. Why it was too painful is what most of your guests will tell you here. I don't want to, you can't make me too painful because I had to face the fact that I was not getting up and that was too painful. So I didn't end. I had an amazing career after that. Okay. And I've had since, I mean, a college career in particular, my junior and senior year are still the best years of my life because of certain things I would never have attempted, never have done. And this is not the first story.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (6m 24s):

Believe it or not. I lost the love of my life in college too. And that's a whole nother episode in and of itself. But the fact is these were monumental, significant failures that changed the course of my life because I made a decision that was wrong.

Mark Graban (6m 37s):

And so what you said there, just go back and make sure I'm hearing you correctly. The, the mistake as you put it was running from that moment. What I mean, if you could go back in time and give advice to your younger than 20 year old self, what might you have done differently as a way of reacting to that situation

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (6m 58s):

And gentle? I would have loved me through that and said, you know what, what you're hearing is not what is real. Yes, you are not good enough to be an Olympian, but you've been playing since you were five years old. And you're good enough just the way you are, regardless of what you can do, because I could not, at that time separate the two, we most often say who we are and what we do are integrated. And we think that if one is wrong than the other is wrong, and I took it to heart that there was something wrong with me, there was nothing wrong with me. There was something wrong with the skill, the skill wasn't good enough to be at the Olympic, but it was still good enough. And I could've stayed in the business of music that could have still played. Weddings, played at a lesser church, played somewhere else.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (7m 39s):

I decided it was an all or nothing proposition because it was too painful. Close my door. I would have liked to have told myself I was good enough because I've spent the last years trying process not being good enough. And I was just fine back then the same way I am.

Mark Graban (7m 53s):

But I'm still, you know, not knowing that sort of, you know, hyper high. I don't know if hyper-competitive the right word, but to be at that high of a level, like when I went to college, I decided at the end of high school to not pursue music performance, I was really seriously involved in, in as a percussionist and drummer. And I decided that wasn't for me. And I had a lot of friends in college who went through various stages of, they wanted me to be a performance major. And I don't know if the circumstances are the same, but I think at some point they're told, you know, you don't, you're not going to play in the Chicago symphony orchestra someday. So you can go into music education, which, you know, was a tough transition for, for some of my friends I remember about him.

Mark Graban (8m 39s):

I'm just curious, like, did you get indications during those two years that you you've needed the step up? Or they're just like no fixed mindset. You don't have the talent Cheryl you're done.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (8m 50s):

Well, I should have made the comparison. I mean, again, I'm the only undergraduate and in a league of graduate programs, right? So they're playing, and I know you don't know the repertoire, but they're playing St. CNN's, they're playing, you know, all of these pictures as an exhibition by Ms. Gorsey, they're playing, you know, the CSL and I'm playing my Bach cantatas and my Bach, you know, little things by comparison and still I was amazingly good where I had come from. Absolutely. The problem is, is I wasn't. I mean, I was here to there for me. This is where I needed to be. And these, I would sit there and listen to this man play was magic, absolute magic. And I've watched these graduate students and they would have that same ability to do it.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (9m 32s):

I would just sit there and all going, wow, that's what I needed to be. Would I have eventually got there, maybe, you know, Malcolm Gladwell likes to say 10,000 hours, by the way, I was also a drummer percussionist and did senior drum quarter. We talked about that someday. I had to make a choice. And this is the part that was hard is because being that musician, I couldn't be in the marching aligner and I wanted to be, and I, I auditioned for it, but my professor told me, pick one or the other. And I picked music and music and Oregon did not take me back. And I couldn't get back into the marching Alaina because now I was much kind of older, but this is the part you have to look at. What do you want? But here's another lesson. We often think when you're asking someone, when they're preparing for college, that they have to choose for the rest of their life in that moment, because those four years are all you get.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (10m 19s):

And as you've discovered, I've moved 38 times since college. And as a military wife, I didn't have to choose just one. It's been fabulous. I have had so many amazing careers because of being able to live in different places and live all over the world. And initially I didn't see it that way. And so I think a lot of this is this frame of reference. We see our expectations and that's all we see. And we have this yards thick because we measure ourselves against us, ourselves, previously, ourselves in the future and others around us. My biggest advice break that damn yard right here. Right now, you are good enough the way you are. You don't have to compare yourself to anybody else and you can get more than one thing.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (11m 1s):

So I was in Oregon for a couple of years. It didn't work out for me. I would've liked to have stayed in the game, but the game changed and I changed with it. And I became a little sister to fraternity and sorority girl, and did all these things I would've never expected to do. And now I have a wonderful career talking about failure because I've been doing this my entire career, scared the heck out of a lot of people, including my bosses, because they will look at me. It's like, come again. You want to do what you want to teach people how to put fail. It's like, yeah, I want you to do it all the wrong way. As quick as you can, as fast as you can get it out of your seat, let's go do it the right way. Cause we'd like to be the right way. We like to be the expert. It feels cool. It feels good. The learning pregnant, not so cool.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (11m 42s):

We got that pit in your stomach. And the fact that I've been a college professor for 21 years is a shock to everybody, including me, because I was never in the game. It was never the plan. So you go and you bloom where you're planted, but you really need to separate yourself and not beat yourself up because people come into your life to help you become who you're supposed to be. And unfortunately, I spent too much time here in my head, intellectually logical, trying to protect it's when I moved into my heart, that things change. And I thought it was very interesting that the music and the messengers have always been in my purview, mark, I wasn't listening. I wasn't seeing, we see only that would, we expect to see when we start to see what's actually there.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (12m 25s):

Then I started to pick up on the cues and the cues where every house I bought when I moved here, integrase leg, every house had a baby grand piano, every single one. I'm like, gosh, this is kind of curious. I mean, I've never seen so many houses with baby grand piano so that all they have, I've been in the Midwest in 25 years. And she said, no, the house I'm in right now had two pianos, a baby grand and an upright in the basement. Neither one of them stayed. Hint, hint, hint, tint. Interesting that Groundhog day was yesterday because this is what life has done for you is play this Groundhog day over and over and over until, oh my gosh. I mean, that's been there the whole time. How many of us do not see the message or the messenger? And so when a baby grand piano found me and I was actually interviewed yes.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (13m 9s):

Interview not to buy, but to allow to buy a baby grand piano. When she sits in my living room, as we speak to be the next steward for the next 30 years, but I was found and I started to play again. Now it was painful. You as a musician will know this. When you have the heart of hearts, new musician and he's being a musician is not who you are. It's not what you do. It's who you are your core. And I turned my back on my floor and I paid the price for it. But when I invited music back, it was like, Hey, the whole time it took me months to finally get through the pain and my dog no longer leaves the house anymore, though. She used to, I'm still a little bit hacked playing the piano is a different technique complaint, the Oregon, but I couldn't put a pipe organ in the gray room, but this is one of my life shifted again.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (13m 56s):

And there was that balance of saying, you know what? I could have had music in a different way. It would have looked differently just like my diploma on the wall. It doesn't say music major on it. It doesn't say organ performance on it, but it still says the university of Illinois. And so sometimes life beats us up and says, you know what? This is where you're supposed to be. We just stop trying to be a tree. You are a flower and no matter how much you want to be a tree, you're never going to be a tree. You're going to be a flower. So stop fighting. And that's what the cliche Fest comes. What we resist persists. If we can just kind of learn to let go, and everyone will tell you that, particularly when things you know, was meant to be blown, what you have to do is learn is what was to be in here.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (14m 39s):

And what can you accept? And what are you willing to do that? Cause I could have kept grinding it out and I'd still be, I broke musician, but because my professor gave me the greatest gift of all, no, it wasn't all nice about it. So I will tell you his bedside manner could do some improvement. But years later, I tried to go and apologize to him and to thank him. And I missed him because he had already passed away. And that to me is an a group regret. Cause I wanted to say, thank you. I get it. I understand it. The problem is I understood it too late or later than I should have. Wouldn't it be great if we got the understanding when these things happened, I was 20 years old. I knew everything right. Just ask me and I didn't know everything, but I didn't know how to process anything. So instead of taking the mature way and to go through the pain, goes through the valley of darkness through all of that processing.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (15m 25s):

I said, Nope, that's it. I'm outta here. And that was it. And now I had to go through it as an adult. And I understood it now. And I'm like, oh, whore, not having my friend music and my sanctuary, but it took me some months to get it. And I don't have the chops back. Trust me, I'm nowhere near the older you get, the more dexterity you lose, but music is back. And so is everything went with it. And it's amazing how my life shifted again, that it always had the opportunity. It's like Dorothy, Dorothy, from the wizard of Oz, we always had the red shoes. I've got a pair in my office. I keep in there, remind me, you got the answers. You just got to ask the right questions. You got to see what's on the road. Not as you want it to be, but the way it is.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (16m 5s):

And that's a hard thing that we don't learn. And to be honest, not everyone learns it ever. So I guess I'm grateful that still only a 30 year mistake, but

Mark Graban (16m 14s):

Yeah, but I'm sorry. I didn't mean you. You didn't think you'd finished thought it's okay. But

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (16m 21s):

No worries in there. My point is to try and help people to look at it here and now, and that's failure because we don't like that F word. We don't like how it makes us feel. We don't like to fail. The point is, is if you're not willing to fail, you're not going to succeed. Failure is a learning process. That's all it is. But we don't like the effort at all. It's failure is not an option. Failure is the only option. And if you got

Mark Graban (16m 45s):

So I love, I love the title of the show. You are doing fail faster, succeed sooner. And then, you know, the book failure has no alibi because you know, as the subtitle of that book says, learning from the lessons that failure teaches. And sometimes failure is the result of mistakes. Sometimes failure is thrust upon us. And I think it's really interesting that you can draw on those college experiences and that you processed it and realized maybe what some of those struggles were. And so, you know, there's a phrase on your website. It says I help people process failure, which I think is really powerful. Okay. Can you tell us more about that?

Mark Graban (17m 27s):

And you know why we react? And I know you're knowledgeable about how our brains work, what happens in the brain

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (17m 37s):

A little bit in there, I asked, you know, how students learn and we learn from three different ways. But most of the time, I wish I could turn my students back to learning. When they first learned to walk when a two two-year-old and we're learning to walk, the world is walking as a tool. It's a means to an end. We're not looking to learn to walk. We're looking for a means to an end, to get in life faster. The faster way to get there is to walk because we want that cookie mom has got, we want that toy. That's grandma's God. And if we learn to walk and get there all on her own, thank you very much when we get them today. But a lot of people, what does that two year old do they get up? They try, they wiggle. They fall down and then the giggle.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (18m 19s):

And it's so funny watching giggling two year old, they don't know that there's anything wrong with that. So they get up and they do it again and they crawl backwards and forwards and they climb on trees and they climb on couches, do all kinds of things wrong until they figure out going, oh, it's just the one foot in front of the other like, oh, I've got this. Let we get the rhythm and we get them. And then we got it. But they don't know there was anything wrong with how they got there. It was a game, it was a giggle Fest. It was fantastic. Here's what we learned as adults. We learned that fear is painful. We learned that failure is painful. We learned that we don't want to be there anymore. So we learned this neat little word called avoidance. We don't do it. We won't feel it. If we don't go there, it doesn't exist.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (19m 1s):

And so you can't go there because I've had an amazing life because I was willing to go through the valley of darkness and process it. We don't want to go there because it's going to be hurt. It can be painful. When I opened that piano life, I didn't play it for the first few weeks. It hurt my soul to have the fingers and the music. And I cried for almost probably month as I started to try and get emotional now to try and bring that music back. Why? Because it wasn't just a skill. It was my soul. It was something I turned my back because it was painful. And I was afraid of it because I was told I was not good enough. And I believed it.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (19m 42s):

I was absolutely good enough. Maybe not good enough to be an Olympian. Maybe not good enough to play at Notre Dame cathedral. I get that. That's a skill. Not all of us are Mozart. Not all of us come out of the womb being Madame Curry. But the fact is we all have our gifts and that forced compliance put me into a lane that told me where I was supposed to be and what I'm good at. And I'm really good at a lot of things. And I'm really bad at a lot of other things. And we have to go through figuring out what it is, but many of us think we only get one shot at, and that's the biggest mistake we could ever make. If you want to be able to do this, I'm now 53 years old. I've done lots of things. I'm reinventing myself again with now my TED talk that came out.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (20m 25s):

I've wanted to do that for 10 years. So I did it. I wanted to ride a Harley. I got my license. I wanted to travel internationally. I did that too. Did I do it? Well, the Harley thing, no, I actually dropped three bikes and training. And I remember getting my license and my professor going, you're going to do some work training before you get on the bike. And no, I'm not a good prefer riding in the back of a Harley rather than on the front of it. I'm better. Their four wheels are safer, the convertible in the garage, but this is the part you have try. How do you know? And a lot of us think we're going to play it safe. That's what the deal is. Mark. We're going to play it safe. If I would have become that music educator, because I wasn't good enough when people went that route, thinking that was the only door open too.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (21m 11s):

It wasn't the only door. It was the safe path forward. If joy brings you in your heart, then sing in the shower, sing in your car, sing wherever it was. I didn't sing at all. And in my case, I'm not a vocalist of a musician. I didn't play at all because it was too painful to be reminded that every time I would touch those Ivory's that I would hear you stuck that I was, I had to distance that and say, no, I wasn't good enough to be this, but I'm always good enough to be who I am. That's something we don't teach people. We teach skills. And now how many people have settled? I can't tell you how many people are in their careers. 30, 40, 50 years. They define themselves.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (21m 51s):

They retired six months later. They're dead. They define themselves as what they did, not who they are. I can't wait for retirement. I've got a list of things to do. Why? I do not want any regrets on Frank Sinatra's grave. I don't know if people know this. It says the best is yet to come. Frank Sinatra is one of my heroes. I love his music on my birthday. I would, that's my regret. I never saw him live in concert, but I've been dancing to them ever since. I love what he says. It's just the ability to embrace life. I don't want to have any regrets. When, when the end comes, I want to know that Carol was here. She lived their life with poison, purposely screwed up. All of it, every major area in my life. I've screwed up. I've been divorced twice.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (22m 31s):

I'm one of those women. And you know what? I'm happier than most people I know because I've not been willing to settle for second best. I'm not willing to settle for anything that I can do. I either figure it out or I find a place for it. I'm still a musician. I still like drum Corps. I still can play the sticks. I'm not good, but do we need to be? And so we have to decide what we're willing to do. And I don't think we get just one. I had a variety of careers and I struggled at the beginning because every two years as a military wife, we had to go somewhere else. And if I didn't like my job, yay. If I did like my job, your friends now all over the world of where I've lived, that we still hang together even with. And that's the greatest part is now I have many families instead of one.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (23m 14s):

So I want people to expand their thinking. Failure forced me to go into different lanes. And now I go there willingly and reinventing myself now with all kinds of stuff that I do with consulting and publishing and, and playing and doing all kinds of things with music, being back and people wonder why I have a lot of energy, a lot of passion, I have so much I want to do. And I can't do it when I'm six feet under. So you're going to see a lot of passion, but I don't anyone. No one will hear me say, I wish I would have it can happen. I can tell you what I will never do. I have vertigo and I'm not going to be. Bunging jumping anytime soon. Pretty certain, no regrets there, but there are things that I see more people, no one ever died, wishing they would work more.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (24m 1s):

No one ever died. Not seeing her. They did. They always lamented what they didn't. I will go down trying and rather we'll have tried and failed. They never tried at all. And the happiness is my voice. My failure is my voice to try my overwhelmed, my resistance, all my choice. And that's the part that I would have told my younger self is like, yeah, you can sit there on the wall. You could sit there and close that box. That's your choice, your right to do that. But what if, just for the sake of argument, you love this. This is why you paying to do this. Why close a piece of your soul? Instead of walking away, I needed to find balance it didn't I ran as fast as my little legs could carry me.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (24m 43s):

And didn't listen until November of 2019. Why 30 years? I don't know. There are other failures I have corrected since then. There's only one big one that remains. And I don't know, I didn't get shot at that, but I'm certainly, it's a matter of being able to do what, what brings you joy? And I will tell you a conversation with my dad is probably going to upset him, but he was my TED talk as well. Cause my parents didn't want me to be a music minister either. So I get that. But the idea, I remember talking with my dad in a pinnacle moment before I went to college and deciding what I wanted to be when I grow up and I told them, well, if I'm going to do this 40 hours a week, whatever, this is, I better have be happy.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (25m 23s):

I better like, excited about this. And it gets me out of bed everyday. And my dad looking at us like, what are you talking about? You take care of yourself. You take care of your family. You take care of your responsibilities being happens. Not part of the equation. Whoa, not this mom has baby girl. I want to have that happiness factor. And so I've decided of looking at it like, yeah, there are things that I don't particularly care all the time, but most of the time I own my own business. Most of the time I get to do great things with my students and professor LAN with the different universities that I play with and all the different podcasts I do. And if people wonder why, because I say, yes, that's the other solution. Say yes, FDR.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (26m 4s):

Remember our president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, perfect phrase, feel the fear and do it. Anyway. People assume that I do and I'm not afraid, oh heck no. Watch my TED talk. I was shaking in my boots. In that stage. It was a huge opera house that I'm performing in front of. And there wasn't even an audience. And I speak all over the world. I was petrified, but it was the most amazing. And I can still remember being in my head in that moment while I'm speaking. And when you watch the TED talk, you'll hear this flubbing thing. When I come out, that's when I was in my head and I'm thinking, shut up, get out of here, finish this. And then you can go back. But in that moment I was like, wow, you're doing this. It's so cool. Of course, then the words come out of my mouth.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (26m 47s):

But these are the things you've got to have the ability. And it all comes down to one simple question. What do you want? And what are you willing to do to get there? I'm not willing to settle. I've done that far too long. And so now I have an amazing life that a lot of people ended because I worked for it. I put it in motion and I will settle for nothing less than

Mark Graban (27m 9s):

Well, thanks Dr. Cheryl, I'll make sure I put a link to the TED talk in the show notes. People can check that out. If people want to find more about you online, where can they do that?

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (27m 19s):

Easiest way is Dr. CherylLentz.com. That's my website. You'll see it as a speaker site. It has a lot of the things that I do, TED isn't on there yet, but it will be, I literally just came out yesterday. So we have a lot of gives you a little bit of where I've been in some of my keynote performances. You can go and look at my YouTube videos. There's hundreds of them there. I try and do a weekly video for all of my students because I want to keep them in the game. Cause I teach mostly online now and I have for a long period of time. But the idea is connection. And you need to be able to get connected with a coach, with a friend, with somebody that's going to help you get out of your head. So when failure comes, welcome, it, be able to swap, but have someone help you through it?

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (27m 60s):

You don't have to go through it alone. And that's really good lessons. So if you need me, come on my website, I'll sit there and chat with you for days and show you some of the things I've done. It's not always easy, but it can be done through.

Mark Graban (28m 11s):

Thanks. Thanks for sharing that story. And thank you for the inspiring words and I'll call it a, the pep talk. But somebody listening does

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (28m 23s):

To my YouTube video. Again, I do weekly videos for my students. I get a little trouble from the academic side of me because they're not always academic they're motivational because in order to stay in the game, that really was today's message. When this morning it was the, how do you stay in the game? And I think that's my longest risk of the fact I'm still here and I'm still standing and I'm not willing to settle for anything else because a lot of people give up. They just say, oh, I'm just not good enough. Oh, I'm not. It's really easy to stay there, mark. I'm sure you understand. You've done it yourself. Oh, I'm not good enough. They told me, yeah, you could settle for that. You could listen to that. Or I love that the work, or you can get out of your head and go find out if they're right. And in my case they weren't.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (29m 5s):

So you want to be right? You want to be happy. I choose to be both. So.

Mark Graban (29m 10s):

Okay. Well thank you Dr. Cheryl, the academic entrepreneur, again, again, learn more about hear CherylLentz.com. The book is “failure has no alibi learning from the lessons failure teaches.” Thanks again. Thanks.

Dr. Cheryl Lentz (29m 24s):

You're welcome. Good luck, everyone. And fail faster. Succeed sooner. I tell you,

Mark Graban (29m 30s):

Thanks again to Cheryl for being our guests today. Dr. Cheryl lens for more information, go to markgraban.com/mistake103. A always. I want to thank you for listening. I hope this podcast inspires you to reflect on your own mistakes, how you can learn from them or turn them into a positive I've had listeners tell me that they started being more open and honest about mistakes in their work. And they're trying to create a workplace culture where it's safe to speak up about problems because that leads to more improvement and better business results. If you have feedback or a story to share, you can email me myfavoritemistakepodcast@gmail.com. And again, our website is my favorite mistake,podcast.com.


Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.