Backstage Interview: Don't Let Today's Challenges Stop Your Dream

What dream pulls you through the tough times?


Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, has a story that epitomizes “The American Dream.” When he was just a teenager, he made he bold move to buy a deli. Working around the clock, Bill built the business from the ground up.

In this backstage interview at Leadercast Live, he shares a story many of you can relate to: how his parents instilled in him the grit to succeed. “Whatever that dream is inside of you, ultimately it is the thing that pulls you out of the tough times and creates the substance you need, the grit you need to be the winner,” says Bill.

What is your dream? And how are you going after it? Watch this video to hear Bill’s inspirational story.

When I wrote “Winner’s Dream,” I did it from the eyes of the guy running the corner store -- not just the guy that made it to the corner office -- and there are a lot of challenges along the way. There are a lot of times you don't want to go into that corner store. You'd rather be doing something more fun. Sometimes it’s just tough getting out of bed. Other times you get hit with thunderbolts, personal shocks in your personal life that are really difficult to overcome.

But we simply can't let today's challenges supersede the size of tomorrow's dreams. We have to stay focused on the dream. Sometimes the dream is actually all you have and the loyalty that you have and the commitment that you have to that dream. Whatever that dream is inside of you, ultimately is the thing that pulls you out of the tough times and creates the substance you need, the grit you need to be the winner. To be the one to make it. The one that shows up and gets the job done.

I think some of the bravest men and women that I have ever seen are people like my dad. I'll never forget him getting out at 3 o’ clock in the morning, basically chipping ice off the windshield to take a ride into New York City to go work in the manholes. There's all kinds of courage, there’s all kinds of bravery. It's not just for the guys that run companies. We have to find that inner voice, we have to have role models like my dad, like my mom, and just think about how great our lives really are and how many people have it so much tougher than we do. When you think of it that way getting out of bed isn't so tough. Going for your dream isn't so tough. You can do it.

Bill McDermott

Bill McDermott was appointed co-CEO of SAP alongside Jim Hagemann Snabe on February 7, 2010. He was then promoted to sole CEO (the first American in the company's history) in 2014. In this capacity, and also as a member of the executi...

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