RLI Taking the Lead Podcasts

Episode 25: Stephen Swensen, MD, MMM, FACR


Headshot of Dr. Swensen

Empowering People to Flourish


July 23, 2020

Join us for an inspiring conversation with Stephen Swensen, MD, who for three decades served patients at the Mayo Clinic in a variety of roles including Director for Leadership and Organization Development, Chief Quality Officer, and Department Chair. During his tenure he led numerous significant efforts such as the Professional Burnout Initiative, the Quality Academy and the Value Creation System to improve the welfare of both patients and professionals. In addition to his roles at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Swensen was Principal Investigator of two National Institutes of Health grants, has authored three books and currently serves as Senior Fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, where his focus is joy in work. In this episode, Dr. Swensen shares how early family relationships and experiences shaped him and his approach to leadership development and the five behaviors that when practiced by a leader, drastically reduces team burnout rates. If you are looking for practical, actionable ways to improve the culture, satisfaction and camaraderie of your team, be sure to listen to this very special episode.

View episode transcript »

Stephen Swensen, MD, MMM, FACR

Stephen Swensen, MD, MMM, FACR is dedicated to the support of thoughtful leaders who aspire to nurture fulfillment of their staff. He is a recognized expert, researcher and speaker in the disciplines of leadership and burnout. His most recent book features a validated blueprint for success (Mayo Clinic Strategies to Reduce Burnout - 12 Actions to Create the Ideal Workplace).

Dr. Swensen serves as Senior Fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, where his focus is Joy in Work. He works as the Leadership Theme Leader for NEJM Catalyst.

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Did You Know?

Dr. Swensen has completed 39 marathons either in running shoes or on skate skis. He trains every day one way or another. Last year, he and his wife of 43 years hiked the Tour du Mont Blanc.

His favorite drink is a glass of a Gold Medal French-oaked Cabernet from his vineyard and winery that he started with three friends twenty years ago.

He lives in the Rocky Mountains and is outside nearly every day hiking a mountain or chasing a golf ball (They fly farther at 7,000 feet!).

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