36 minutes | Apr 8, 2019

Julie Sweet

This week on A Call to Lead, you'll meet Julie Sweet, who is CEO of Accenture North America. Julie's story is remarkable. She was raised by hard-working parents who told their daughter that she could do anything. Julie ran with that ethos all the way to Columbia Law School and a partner position at law giant Cravath, Swaine & Moore. Then she did something really unconventional: Julie quit Cravath, joined Accenture as general counsel, and rose quickly to head Accenture's North American unit, where she oversees one of Accenture’s largest, most strategically-important businesses. In this podcast, Julie talks about what we all have to do amidst the tech revolution and disruption: learn continuously, develop flexibility, welcome divergent views, and collaborate constantly. Here are five things that Julie said that struck my team as particularly interesting:   Focus on learning and be deliberate in building a learning and development plan for yourself. "If learning is strategic and important, then it needs to be treated as a business priority." Think about risk-taking in your career as a positive. "Instead of thinking about fear, which is [inherently a] negative, or "I'm taking risks," start thinking about, Am I pushing myself and the organization far enough to achieve what they can achieve?'" The convergence of industries means experience spanning multiple industries is important and differentiating. "In a world where you have industry convergence, you can't just have people grow in the industry; they need to understand more." Learn communication skills from leaders around you that communicate well. "To become a good communicator, you need to become a student of other good communicators." In moments of stress, the ‘system’ doesn’t need more stress injected into it. It needs calm, stability, and rationality. "As a leader, the most important thing you can do is to put calm into the system, and to have people believe that you believe we can work through it."   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.
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