John Eades the CEO of LearnLoft and host of Follow My Lead Podcast interviewed the CEO of SAP, the multinational software corporation, Bill McDermott.
McDermott has shown his worth since his appointment in 2014 by an increase in the company’s share price as well as his commitment to making the world a better place and influencing others.
McDermott gave seven of his best leadership lessons to Eades.
Lead with a higher purpose
McDermott communicates with his more than 80,000 employees as to why they are doing what they are doing and why they matter.
His advice to anyone who is running a company is that if they do not have a defined purpose for their existence, they determine the purpose before they do anything else. He says that having a higher purpose that touches both the customer and the employees is critical because it goes beyond money.
Surround yourself with better people
McDermott says that leaders must have the humility to acknowledge that their success will be determined by choosing the best people. Leaders have to know that they are not experts in every field. The best way to surround yourself with better people is to know your own strengths and to hire people who are experts in your areas of weakness.
Learn from others, but be authentic
Leaders have to be authentic and have to learn from other great leaders and to embrace those principles.
He suggests doing things your own way and making bets on people who you believe will create long term growth and improve your culture.
Don’t mess up the business strategy
McDermott says that leaders can be forgiven for many mistakes but having a bad strategy is not one of them.
There are many different strategies that you can put into place but if it does not lead to helping your customer achieve its goals, it is likely to fail.
Make trust king
He believes that trust is fundamental and the only way to earn trust is to give trust unconditionally. Trust your instinct as to who is real. Show your employees who you are through your daily actions more than your words.
Focus on the root cause of success
Businesses have to get results to survive. As important as it is to know the results, it is more important to understand the root cause of the results.
If you understand the root cause of what produces the results, you have the tools to properly motivate your people.
Remember, it is a work in progress
He emphasizes that business and leadership is a journey.
McDermott said, “Every day we have to be constantly reinvesting what we brought from yesterday and keep dreaming about what we can be tomorrow.”
Eades challenged each leader to look at McDermott’s ideas and to ask themselves if they already embrace each one and if not, to start now.