41 minutes | May 20, 2019

Dr. Jill Biden

Today on A Call to Lead, we have a very special guest: Dr. Jill Biden. Dr. Biden’s Memoir, Where the Light Enters, was released earlier this month and I hosted her for a live discussion several months ago at SAP’s North America Headquarters near Philadelphia. During the eight years that Jill served in the Obama White House where her husband, Joe, was Vice President, Jill advocated for military families, women and children, STEM education, and more, while never pausing her career as a teacher. Then and now, Jill teaches English at a community college in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. In this interview, she talks about learning leadership from remarkable people, some famous and many more not famous at all. And she shared her view of the famously close relationship between former Vice President Biden and former President Obama. Here are five points that my team and I found valuable to share with you: When I noted that STEM education is a focus of SAP, and confidence is key to helping students succeed, Jill agreed: "The most important thing that I can teach students, I think, is confidence. Confidence that they can do what they strive to do." From watching extraordinary leaders up close, Jill says she has learned this: "To be a good leader, you have to be a really good listener and hear what people are saying to you—and be able to accept it, and do better." I asked if the best leaders continue to be the best students. "Absolutely," Jill replied. "Teachers are really the best example of lifelong learners because they're constantly in their fields learning new things, researching, listening to other people, going to workshops. You know, I don't know what it's like in the corporate environment because I haven't worked there, but teachers are constantly open to new ideas and ways of learning. It's essential." I asked Jill who, in her global travels, strikes her as a great leader. She named three people: Congolese gynecologist Dr. Denis Mukwege, Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, and Prince Harry. "I've seen him at the Invictus Games, and working with the military," she said about Prince Harry. "People in the military truly have so much respect for him because he's lived their lives. He's walked in their shoes. And he has a really nice rapport with them. So I respect him for that." Leadership happens when no one is looking. "I've met so many incredible people who figure out how to make things work in their communities," Jill said. "That's the important thing, not the title." You can learn more by visiting: www.sap.com/acalltolead. And you can subscribe and listen to episodes on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher. We welcome your feedback on the pod! Tweet me @JenniferBMorgan and use the hashtag #acalltolead or e-mail us at acalltolead@sap.com.   Where to Listen: Subscribe and listen to episodes on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher. --- Jennifer Morgan is a member of the Executive Board of SAP SE and President of SAP’s Cloud Business Group.
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