My Way: 16 Things That Help Me Embrace Change

Who?

Jenny Dearborn, senior vice president and chief learning officer of SAP

Where?

Silicon Valley, California

What?

At SAP, the world’s largest business software company, Dearborn is accountable for the learning opportunities of the company’s more than 85,000 employees worldwide. Through the Fortune Most Powerful Women Network, she is a mentor for the U.S. State Department to female entrepreneurs in developing countries. She was recognized by the National Diversity Council as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Her second book, The Data Driven Leader, is due out in November.

My Way: 16 Things That Help Me Embrace ChangeI never leave the house without…

An up-to-date audiobook on my phone. I’m pretty addicted to listening to books.

I couldn’t stop reading…

The War that Ended Peace by Margaret MacMillan. It was absolutely gripping.

I really love…

Bose’s QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones. My Way: 16 Things That Help Me Embrace ChangeI travel so much I have to have noise-canceling earbuds.

A mantra that I try to live by is…

“There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”

Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State

I love to pursue…

My Way: 16 Things That Help Me Embrace ChangeCreative endeavors. Whenever I have free time I paint, I paint large-scale, acrylic, on-canvas pop art.

My favorite podcast is…

This American Life.

The last Netflix binge I had was on…

Breaking Bad. I was completely obsessed. I would dream that Walter White was cooking meth in the conference room next to my office.

Everyone should try…

A mindset to do something new every day, even if it’s not something big and scary. Architect Buckminster Fuller used to say he would walk home from work a different way every time. There’s not a lot of risk, but it’s a mindset that makes us open to change.

When I was younger, I wanted to grow up to be a…

A professional skateboarder. I’m still really good. At my age, I can still shred it pretty good.

My Way: 16 Things That Help Me Embrace ChangeMy Way: 16 Things That Help Me Embrace Change

To me, there’s nothing as rewarding as…

Growing and developing the talent of other people and really making other people shine.

My go-to playlist includes…

My Way: 16 Things That Help Me Embrace ChangeClassic ’80s rap. I love Run DMC.

I try to look at disappointments as…

A learning opportunity. Nothing is truly a failure or a waste of time if you learned from the experience. Every disappointment is an opportunity to regroup and be better next time.

Integrity is…

Core to all other values. Everything comes from that. I value creativity, but you can’t be creative if you don’t have integrity for the creative process. I value innovation, too, but you need to have integrity to follow innovation.

You shouldn’t hide…

Anything about you because all of the pieces of who you are make you the amazing leader that you are. Don’t hide the [negative] because the outcome is you and the outcome is fantastic.

Embracing change is…

Important because learning is a change process. We need to be lifelong learners. We need to be constantly pulling in new information and staying curious.My Way: 16 Things That Help Me Embrace Change

My aha moment was…

My Way: 16 Things That Help Me Embrace ChangeRecognizing that I was incredibly bright and talented, and I was put on Earth to make a very significant contribution to the world in a positive way. Throughout my K-12 schooling, it was reinforced to me by the authority figures in my life at school that I wasn’t good enough and I wasn’t smart enough. The aha moment was recognizing that they were wrong.

 

Photos by Drew Altizer

This article originally appeared in the August 2017 issue of SUCCESS magazine.

This article originally appeared in the August 2017 issue of SUCCESS magazine.

Jesus Jimenez

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