Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

SAP’s CEO on Being the American Head of a German Multinational

“My advice to an executive who’s asked to lead an organization based outside his or her home culture wouldn’t be much different from what I’d tell any new leader of a business, no matter where it’s located: Understand and respect the dynamics of the culture. Learn to read the room. Armed with empathy, give the people a compelling vision and find a way to hit the accelerator harder. Always try to act with humility, to be human, and to be yourself. Finally, never forget where you came from or that the best is yet to come. Optimism is a free stimulus in any country.”

Languages do matter!


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