One of the many highlights for me at the recent Sales 3.0 Conference in Las Vegas was my fireside chat with Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP.
I’m a great admirer of Bill’s. I’ve interviewed him before and I knew he would bring valuable and heartfelt insights to our audience of B2B sales leaders.
In fact, one of the reasons I worked so diligently to create a last-minute opportunity to get Bill onstage with us (he was not originally scheduled to speak, and graciously created an opening in his schedule after I learned he would be in Las Vegas during our event) was because I believe that Bill’s remarkable mindset could help our attendees on a personal and professional level. One of the many things I’ve learned about mindset over the years is that our success or failure is often dictated by how we choose to respond to events in life – even random accidents.
Almost immediately as we began our interview, I could feel the emotion and energy in the room as Bill shared stories from his childhood and his time in leadership positions.
During our chat, I decided to ask Bill about a freak fall he suffered in 2015, which led to several surgeries and, eventually, the loss of one eye. As he said, he knew while he was lying on the ground that it was a life-threatening situation. Something inside him compelled him to crawl out of the house and to the street, where he hoped someone would see or hear him. And that’s exactly what happened.
I was moved to see Bill become slightly choked up while recalling these events and the lessons he’s learned as a result. Although he may have lost some of his vision (which is the reason he now wears dark glasses), he told us sincerely, “Vision is not just about what you see. It’s about what you feel and how you make other people feel.”
As with many highly successful people, Bill chooses to feel gratitude about this setback, rather than feeling sorry for himself, or depressed. Although surely the recovery process has had dark moments, nothing could dampen his love of life and people.
This is the core of what makes Bill McDermott a great leader and human being. As he told us, “You can get anything in this life that you want if you help enough other people get what they want.”
Join me December 4 in Philadelphia for the last Sales 3.0 Conference of 2017. Learn more at www.sales30conf.com/Philadelphia2017.