Originally authored by Aimee Feaver.

In this original series from North America Communications, we take the ease with which we remember things in 3’s and merge it with insights and ideas from leaders from across the region – whether on SAP, on career, or how they see the world.

This edition, we are pleased to highlight three things from Cindy Fagen.

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Listening to Cindy Fagen describe her role as chief operating officer for SAP Labs Canada, instead of words like ‘operations,’ ‘best practices,’ or ‘smooth execution,’ you will hear ‘ambassador,’ ‘customer,’ and ‘visibility.’ As she sees it, her responsibility, which stretches from Montreal to Vancouver, is to raise the internal and external profile of the Labs Canada team and “ensure our ‘Made in Canada’ innovations and collaborations with customers have the visibility they deserve.” Highlighting talent and driving team member engagement is a big part of her formula for success.

Tell us about a memorable boss you have had.

“Early on in my sales career, I watched my boss recruit a new team and connect with each individual to understand their motivations, and get a mutual level of commitment. He put a vision out there for us, and it was bigger than ‘a number;’ it was what we were going to achieve together. What stood out for me was the investment of time he made in each person to establish trust. I remember him saying, “I’m going to treat your paycheck as if it was my own.” Hearing that, we wanted to achieve something great. Ultimately, it was a real success story. By the end of the year, many of the ‘underdogs’ he had chosen for his team made it to the President’s Club.

Looking back now, and as the leader of a team, his actions reaffirmed that understanding people’s lives and motivations is the best way to connect and help them strive towards a larger goal. “

What would you tell a new hire about having a successful career at SAP?

“The power of your network is important as you move through the company. Being fourteen months with SAP (and sometimes that still feels ‘new’), I have learned this is a place that embraces new people and offers an incredible amount of opportunity. I am particularly proud of the investment we make to drive employee engagement and make it a cool place to work. I think we are a best-kept secret, really. One other thing – and it is particularly true in Labs where we are constantly experimenting – failure is not a sign you need to stop. Innovation comes from that place. Whether improving a process or creating a net new product, resourcefulness is a necessity. Drive innovation in everything you do.”


A book you recommend people read in 2016?


If you’re thinking about a New Year’s resolution that’s a personal or professional goal: either health, your finance or relationships,or any change you want to make happen in your life, I would highly recommend The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen. He talks to the fact that you can’t expect success unless you really think about discipline and making small and impactful change every day. And creating that behavior is how you have compounded effect and, over time, make a big change in your life.


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