What It Really Takes to Be a Winner

What roles do empathy, authenticity and trust play in your leadership?


Bill McDermott—CEO of SAP SE and author of "Winners Dream: A Journey from Corner Store to Corner Office"—explains why empathy, trust and authenticity are critical to winning at what you do.

“[Winning] really does come down to the customer and having empathy for that customer,” says Bill. “Whatever business you're in… trust is the ultimate human currency.”

Watch the video to hear Bill’s motivational message on the values you need to win in business and as a leader.

I'll say this to you, I wrote a book called, ''Winners Dream: A Journey from Corner Store to Corner Office." And I never forgot in that little delicatessen in New York, what it really takes to be a winner. And it really does come down to the customer and having empathy for that customer. And I encourage you to do things that your competition either can't do or chooses not to do.

Don't obsess on the competition. Obsess on the whitespace they have yet to cover and do things better than them at things they've chosen not to do or they cannot do. And you can really provide an uncanny service to your customer. And in the end, the customer, and the customer alone determines whether we win or we lose.

And the one thing I will tell you about this business, whatever business you're in, public sector, private sector, small, medium or large, trust is the ultimate human currency. No trust, no progress. But when you have trust, you can do a lot.

So my mom always told me, "Keep it simple and the most important thing to remember is the best part of you is you." So just be yourself. Most people obsess on all their weaknesses and they make that their life's work, fixing their weaknesses. I say focus on your strength. You've got something so magic about you that no one else in the world has.

Get inside of that, believe in that and do that better than anyone else in the world and you'll be brave, and you'll be courageous. And best of all, you'll be a winner that's in service to other people. You'll walk with a purpose and make a difference. And that's why we're here, to make a difference and be brave and be courageous. Thank you very much for your time and attention this morning. Good luck to you all.

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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