In the Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

November 2, 2021

‘In a Word’: Guy Finne on heroes vs. superstars, finding hope and fulfillment at Mayo Clinic

By In the Loop
Guy Finne is pictured with his wife, Terri Finne, at a past Christmas celebration.
Guy Finne is pictured with his wife, Terri Finne, at a past Christmas celebration.

This column spotlights the kinds of people you think about when you think about Mayo Clinic. They've answered questions, serious and otherwise, so you can know them better.


You see them at bedsides. Behind desks. You may spot them walking down a hall or sprinting across a lobby, making every effort to look like they're walking. You see them talking quietly with a patient and family, or sitting down with you at a meeting. They may be friends, teammates or someone you know only by sight. But you're glad they're here. And it's reassuring to know that the health of our patients, our colleagues and the institution itself rests in their capable, friendly, earnest, caring and compassionate hands.


Growing up in Southeast Minnesota, Guy Finne, dreamed of working at Mayo Clinic long before he came here. Finne, the director of Workforce Development, has been at Mayo for 20 years now.

"Becoming a Mayo Clinic employee and having that opportunity to build something new meant a lot to me and still does," he says.

Twenty years into the role, Finne finds fulfillment in knowing that his work supports Mayo Clinic's mission.

"I am so proud to say that I work for Mayo Clinic knowing that this organization changes lives, inspires hope and provides healing every day," he says. "It is an honor to be a small part of that. To know that some of the talent that is directly fulfilling that mission is here because of my team's efforts is truly meaningful."

One of my favorite things about Mayo Clinic: That we are a value-driven organization. As I listen to our leaders during Quarterly Administrative Updates and other town halls, every conversation is grounded by our values. My hope is that Mayo Clinic never loses that. 

The single most important thing I did at work yesterday (or expect to do tomorrow): Removed a barrier for another person to fulfill their dream of becoming a Mayo Clinic employee. As a conduit to the community, I have the pleasure of visiting with many people who strive to be called a Mayo Clinic employee. Many of them have barriers to that success. Being a resource to help them remove their barriers is truly a pleasure.  And when we hear their success by achieving the dream, we celebrate every person.

A book I would recommend, or one I want to read (and why): Full disclosure: I am not a great book reader. I never have been. My wife is the book reader in the family. I am working my way through "Uncle Tom's Cabin" as one of my investments toward more equity, inclusion and diversity awareness, and knowledge building.

Mayo Clinic has taught me: That you can align your passion with work. Too many people, unfortunately, go to work because they need to, not because they desire to. I am thankful that Mayo Clinic has provided many thousands of employees with the opportunity to bring passion, along with skill and knowledge, to work. I am one of those many thousands. My whole team is driven by the passion to help others remove barriers to Mayo Clinic employment. It is truly a joy to work with them.

Most treasured or best advice from a colleague at Mayo: I have two to share that stick with me. Barbara Jordan once told me, "There are two kinds of medical students. There are superstars and heroes. They both will go on to do amazing things, but superstars do it for themselves while heroes do it for others. Mayo Clinic is looking for heroes." That stuck with me, and I use it often when talking about the kind of employee we look for. Ken Schneider is the other colleague who told me to remember that every dollar we spend came from a patient and out of respect to our patients, we need to be good stewards of those resources. Both are so tied to our values. 

Most memorable Mayo moment: I have many, but receiving the Karis Award was one. I was shocked and speechless, which does not happen often. When my name was called for this honor at the Human Resources Quarterly Meeting, it was very humbling and emotional.     

If I could choose the "hold" music for Mayo Clinic: I am from the 80's genre. I would select "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin. I know. The tune is stuck in your head now.

Favorite space on campus this month: As a remote worker, I don't get to come on the campus much anymore. But when I do, I always pause in the Gonda Atrium. I truly enjoy that space.

People who inspire me: My team. Every day. When I have troubling days and lose focus on the good we are doing, I can always rely on my team to bring forward some good news. Typically, we try to celebrate "Good News Fridays," and there is always good news to share. It's a nice way to end the week.

The most fun I've had at work this year: Given COVID-19 and the move to permanent remote working, my team has a weekly fun connect for 30 minutes. No business talk. We focus on who we are, what we are doing, and what is fun in our worlds. The last one we had was nonstop laughter. We even shared high school prom pictures at one. Oh, my goodness.

Team Dr. Charlie or Team Dr. Will? Or, Team Mother Alfred or Team Dr. W.W.? This is a tough one. I think I would rather be a spectator so that I could just watch and be inspired by each team. 

When patients recall their visit to Mayo Clinic, I hope they remember:  I hope that they remember what my wife and I remember: Hope. We have a son, Sam, who has had four open-heart surgeries at Mayo Clinic along with other cardiac procedures. Sam's has been a complicated case with multiple heart and lung defects. His first surgery was at three months. As his pediatric cardiologist would say, "Sam is writing his own book." But even with that being the case, Mayo Clinic was always able to write the answer to every chapter of the book. We never felt like we were in a position of having no plan. Sam would throw his care team a curveball, and they would react and hit the ball over and over. I hope all our patients remember the hope that Mayo Clinic provides. And now Sam is a Mayo Clinic employee.


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Tags: Employee Stories, Guy Finne, In a Word

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