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Almost hidden in the announcement of the New SAP Mentors Spring 2014 blog post there was already a link to nominate a new SAP Mentor. 35 suggestions on who should be a one have been posted.

What does it take to be an SAP Mentor?

We have created a nifty document to help you recognize potential new SAP Mentors. It is the SAP Mentor Magic Foundation document. We SAP Mentors recently went through the exercise to revise it. In addition to Lead by Example, Passion, Constructive in Our Criticisms, Be Humble and Inclusion we added three more principles that the mentor magic is built upon: Deep Curiosity, Full of Gratitude and Playfulness.

In this post I would like to focus on Playfulness. Why does being playful make a difference? It took me a while to realize the importance of playfulness, and there is no full consensus among the SAP Mentors about it.


Here are a couple examples that illustrate the difference playfulness is making:

Bjoern Goerke.jpg

I remember Bjoern Goerke after finishing a fast paced back and forth webinar with the SAP Mentors, leaning back and saying: “You guys always seem to have fun.” That mixture of intense high signal conversation, but at the same time friendly banter that is putting him and everyone in the webinar at ease.

It’s a chicken and egg thing,you need to be relaxed and have a certain amount of trust for playfulness to develop. By being playful, you create a relaxed atmosphere.

From twitter we knew that Bjoern is an avid runner. On a lark I pinged him and asked whether he would be open for a run with the SAP Mentor Wolfpack. He totally was game. Which lead to the now infamous picture of me with the red head. Some of the SAP Mentors nudged the SAP TechEd team which lead to last year’s amazing 5K Fun Run.

5k Fun Run/Walk at SAP TechEd 2013 Las Vegas

That event only happened because of some playfully creating connections where there weren’t any before.

Or SAP Mentor Jim Spath developing the SCNotties: The award show for the best of the worst media from the SAP community. And when we say best, we mean the cheesiest. B Movies are our role model.

One of my fondest memories of years past is playing the lead role in a stop animation short film. Well actually it was a Lego figure med in my liking.

Thank you so much John Astill. He even gave me the piece!

Another example was the Hug a Suit campaign mostly driven by Chris Kernaghan and Oliver Kohl that I wrote about in Culture Jamming SAP.

For Joyfulness to work you need a certain level of trust, that if you stumble and fall, there are folks that will pick you up. You need a deeper level of intimacy than your regular business relationships, especially when these relationships go beyond company borders. And, those qualities are self-reinforcing. More fun makes for more sense of connection and ease.

Now not all SAP Mentors are joyful, for some it is harder to tab into that side of their personality. That is totally OK. What you have to bring to being an SAP Mentor is a tolerance for others being joyful, sometimes even silly. Let’s roll with it, as something great may come from this playfulness attitude.

You know someone who fills most of the attributes from SAP Mentor Magic Foundation document, please nominate her to become a new SAP Mentor!

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