We recently lost an incredible person: Dr. Steve Vogt. He was the founder and former CEO of one of our clients, BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy.
Dr. Vogt passed away in April after a courageous battle with glioblastoma.
There are no words to describe the amount of respect and admiration I have for this man, his dedication to helping others, and the profound legacy he’s left behind.
When I was in school for my masters in leadership, we studied the concept from every angle — what makes an effective leader, and how those traits translate into a successful business with a tight-knit team and consistently delighted customers.
Over my 20+ year career, Dr. Vogt is the only leader I’ve ever met who embodied every single one of those tenets.
As we mourn his passing and reflect on how thankful we are to have known him, I’ve been thinking a lot about life in general, one’s purpose, and my own legacy.
What does it all mean? What’s it all for?
Those of us who make healthcare our profession share a unified answer: To make a difference. To make the world a better place.
And when I pass, I want to know that people’s lives are better because I was here.
Dr. Vogt’s mission: “enriching lives”
In his obituary, Dr. Vogt’s mission is laid out clearly: he wanted to enrich lives.
He wrote: “Blessed is the man who gets the opportunity to devote his life to something bigger than himself and who finds himself surrounded by friends who share his passion. In this way, I am disproportionately blessed."
When he founded BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy in 1989, he probably wasn’t aware to what degree he would actually enrich lives.
As BioPlus grew into a billion-dollar company, and through its partnership with the charity OneWorld Health, it’s helped hundreds of thousands of people across the world get access to life-saving medication.
BioPlus has been a lifeline for people at the most vulnerable times of their lives. To call this enrichment is an understatement.
“Here’s to the crazy ones”
I often think about the sheer boldness and brazenness that’s required to make such an impact.
And it draws me back to one of my favorite marketing campaigns: Apple’s 1997 “Think Different” campaign.
Specifically, the “Here’s to the crazy ones” ad and the speech Steve Jobs gave to announce the campaign.
In this speech, Jobs says:
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who actually do.”
— Steve Jobs
Anyone who’s been in the trenches of entrepreneurship and innovation can tell you that it’s rough out there. Statistically, most of our efforts will fail.
This can be disheartening at best and devastating at worst. Some will put every ounce of passion, determination, and persistence into it, only to see nothing in return.
It really does feel like you have to be flat-out crazy to actually make a difference in the world.
This is especially true in healthcare, where it often seems like we spend half of our time trying to cut through red tape and wade through the murky depths of the status quo.
We can see giant gaps that desperately need attention. Large groups of people who are underserved, poorly served, or not served at all. And it’s an uphill battle to stir the revolutionary change we want to see.
And yet we march on
I’d be lying if I said that I’ve never stopped and thought to myself: “What am I even doing?! What’s the point here?”
Then I’m reminded that this craziness — this deep desire to leave your mark, and the pouring of heart and soul that goes into it — is critically needed in the world.
Even when it feels thankless, even when if feels like we’re failing, we’re making that difference we set out to make. Even if only by virtue of putting in the work.
So to anyone who needs to hear this: YOU are making a difference. You’re one of the crazy ones. And the world is better with you in it.
I’ll leave you with another of my favorite quotes from Sharon L. Adler: “Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”
How do you want to be remembered?
Let me know in the comments.