This week, the Global CEO of software giant SAP visited Dublin City University to give an address on the topic of Leadership in the Digital Age. The talk was part of the Distinguished Speaker Series organised by DCU’s Leadership and Talent Institute in partnership with the Irish Times Executive Jobs.
Before the official audience commenced, Mr McDermott was presented with an award by DCU President Prof Brian MacCraith to recognise more than a decade of support for, and commitment to the DCU Access Scholarship Programme by SAP. Mr McDermott also met with DCU Access students Michael Akingbade, Amie McGuirke and Emma Lockwood who shared their own stories of what support from the DCU Access Programme has meant to them during their time at university.
During the fireside chat with event moderator Ciaran Hancock of the Irish Times which followed, Mr McDermott shared insights on leadership with the audience garnered on his journey from corner store to corner office. As a 16 year old entrepreneur, he explained how he had learned to focus on the customer when setting up a deli business that helped to pay for his college education. Other lessons learned on his journey which he shared with the audience included:
- Good leaders set a vision and a tone for excellence – people need to know you care
- Great things happen when average people have a passion and a will to change the world
Mr McDermott also outlined his belief in surrounding himself with talented, young teams – explaining that self-secure leaders build unbelievable teams. The event concluded with a book signing where Mr McDermott signed copies of his book “Winners Dream” for attendees.