“The cultural shift with businesses is incredibly important, and that always comes down to trust and understanding one another’s goals,” said Executive Vice President for Global Business Development and Ecosystems Arlen Shenkman in a Philadelphia Business Journal report by Michelle Caffrey.
“From being an attorney to being a CFO to running business development, I don’t do business with people I don’t trust. Period.
“It’s a fundamental perspective I’ve found that’s served me well.”
And in order to understand other leaders, “you have to listen before you speak,” the SAP leader said.
“You have to ask questions, and frankly, sometimes you have to be humble enough to say, ‘I don’t understand what you’re saying; can you talk to me like I’m a third-grader?’”
Beyond leadership skills, success also has a lot to do with context, and doing business from Newtown Square has had a prominent role in SAP’s growth.
“We not only have a great city, an affordable city and access to great talent, but access to capital has really become less relevant if you look at the landscape and the ability to build a business quickly,” Shenkman said.
Needless to say, the future is bright for both him and SAP.
“The ability to build technology has never been easier. It’s an incredible time to be driving an ecosystem and to be making a contribution to a business of its size.”
Read more about the lessons Shenkman has learned throughout his career at SAP in the Philadelphia Business Journal here.