Aimlessness Is The Enemy Of Success

Jul 31, 2013

John Malmo

SAP is a multinational software corporation with annual revenue of over $15 billion. What kind of special person and background does it take to be CEO of such a giant, sophisticated company?

One CEO came from a working class American family. He helped his dad coach his little brother’s basketball team when he, himself, was only eleven. During high school, he had three jobs, and eventually he traded all three for one job in a delicatessen. At age sixteen, he bought the delicatessen. With the deli income, he put himself through college, then sold his deli to look for a job that would provide great training and some polish.

He chose Xerox, and when his dad drove him to the interview, he promised he’d come home with a Xerox employee badge. The interview went well. The district manager said they’d get back in touch.

But he told the manager of his promise to his dad, saying he’d “never broken a promise in 21 years and couldn’t start today.” The manager looked at him for a long time, then said, “Bill McDermott, as long as you haven’t committed any crimes, you’re hired.”

McDermott says SAP looks for people who know who they are, what they want and where they want to go.

The majority of people is aimless, and aimlessness is the enemy of success.

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