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Friday, December 2, 2011

SAP: Creating Leaders On and Off the Field

New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum has always been interested in what makes successful leaders tick. While still a young trainee and lower-level employee in sports management, he started calling leaders he admired to get their thoughts on which qualities were the most important. "When I became general manager of the Jets [in 2006], people suddenly started answering my phone calls," Tannenbaum noted.

Among those who returned a call was Bill McDermott, co-chief executive officer of SAP, the German business software firm. It turned out that McDermott, who is based at SAP's North American headquarters in Newtown Square, Pa., was a huge Jets fan. Although Tannenbaum was seeking McDermott's advice, McDermott was impressed by Tannenbaum's ability to turn a 4-12 team into a perennial playoff contender. "Mike was clearly a man who knew what to do and did it," McDermott noted. "We could both learn from each other."

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