Jeff Harvey. Chief Operating Officer. SAP. Dior Men

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“Most people tell us what we want to hear, but not what we need to hear.  We obviously need to have an open mind to accept the constructive feedback, but without it how can we truly get better in whatever it is we do? “

Jeffrey Harvey 
Chief Operating Officer .  SAP . Chicago, IL .  Northern Illinois University . Operations Management & Information Systems (OMIS)   

Charity Involvement

SAP National Co-Chair, Els for Autism; TechBridge Atlanta

Who are your biggest influencers and mentors personally & professionally and explain why?   Jack Welch and Gary Player are two that I’ve had the good fortune to interact with while at SAP.  Both are leaders in their fields of business and professional golf respectively.  Both are also entrepreneurs that put people first and believe in candor, which is a lost art today.  Most people tell us what we want to hear, but not what we need to hear.  We obviously need to have an open mind to accept the constructive feedback, but without it how can we truly get better in whatever it is we do?  I try to apply this to all of my professional and personal relationships, although sometimes we also need to use a filter in personal relationships that may be a bit more sensitive, if you know what I mean! 

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3 things that we should know about you?   1) I value relationships — and integrity; 2) Less is more; 3) Pay it forward.  

What fuels your drive?  
To be the best I can be — the best person, husband, father, son, brother, friend, stranger.  I don’t always get it right, but those are learning moments.  

What exciting project are you working on?  As COO for Leonardo & Analytics at SAP, I’m working on the next generation of innovation with topics like Machine Learning, Blockchain, RPA and IoT, that will have a direct impact on our 450,000+ customers – and the world as a whole.  This is an exciting time in the technology world and I have a great seat to help drive new sources of value for our customers, partners and for SAP overall.  

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Books you've enjoyed and what's the takeaway from that book?  I was recently reading Jack Nicklaus:  MY STORY.  Chapter 7 is entitled Winning at Its Hardest, which I think we can all learn from.  The bottom line is that regardless of talent, even the great ones need to learn how to win.  And for some that appear to have all the necessary elements, they are unable to win consistently.  For Jack, this came down to four factors:  1) The ability to think clearly under pressure and not let stress and pressure cloud your decision making; 2) Having patience to stick to your game plan and wait for the right opportunity to make your move; 3) Being self-centered and able to concentrate on your own game regardless of what is going on around you; and 4) Working even harder at all of the above when you are playing poorly than when you are playing well.  Like in sport, I personally believe that Jack’s four keys to winning are simple reminders of things that can help each of us be more successful in our personal and professional lives.

What's been your most successful approach in building business relationships?  Two things:  1) Be yourself.  If you’re not, it’s only a matter of time before your facade comes crashing down.  2) Honor your commitments.  Say what you do, do what you say — with integrity.

What are the lessons you've gained that have profoundly shifted your direction in business?  
Don’t let things get personal.  This was a valuable lesson for me while a young executive and working with a very experienced entrepreneur.  He coached me on not letting personal feelings and emotions cloud my judgement in business decisions. After all, he said, it’s not personal, it’s only business.  This had a lasting impact on me and has stayed with me ever since.  

Your mantra?  Do the right thing...the rest will take care of itself.  

What type of digital magazine or periodicals do you enjoy?   I enjoy reading Golf Digest, which helps me work on my game while also decompressing.  Aside from that I also enjoy reading anything highlighting the changes and advancements in technology today. For example, the MIT Technology Review is a great daily email blast that covers topics like Blockchain, Machine Learning, RPA, etc.  Hopefully, one of these innovations will help us solve diseases like cancer one day soon!

Favorite spots to frequent for business connections in Atlanta/National/International and why?   I enjoy playing golf with customers and partners, either in Atlanta or elsewhere in the US or internationally.  It’s a great way to really get to know someone over the course of four hours, although I have to admit I don’t have as much time to do so these days.  I also enjoy spending quality time relaxing with my wife at home, going out to dinner and many of Atlanta’s great restaurants.  One of our favorites is Chops Lobster Bar, where our favorite bartender, Festus, always takes great care of us.  

Apple or Samsung why explain why?  Apple.  My entire family uses an iPhone so it’s just easier to be on a common platform.  The same is true for my work life.    

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5 Favorite skin care products & fragrance by Dior that you enjoy using?  Honestly, I don’t use many Dior products today.  My facial skin care is from Kiehl’s, and my three most frequently used fragrances today are Bulgari, Ferragamo and Burberry.  But I’m looking to get educated on the Dior portfolio and change that soon!

What do you do for fun?  Golf, tennis and any other outdoor sports — running, hiking, skiing, fly fishing, yoga, etc.  I enjoy being active, which also gives me time to decompress and think.  

What legacy do you want to leave behind?That I made a difference in the lives of others, both personally and professionally.  This includes my role as a father and husband, as well as with Els for Autism, for example, where we are helping improve the lives of those on the autism spectrum, which impacts 1 in 64 boys today.  I also spend considerable time mentoring other young professionals, both within and outside SAP, which helps me to pay it back -- and pay it forward at the same time.   

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Interviewed by: Maryan Aiken. Publisher. Founder. CEO. CityBox Media . Listening to Spotify. Love & Hate. Michael Kiwanuka . Recommended by CG

The Dior Men are the trail blazers, the movers and shakers.  It's the perfect blend of entrepreneurs, business owners, and business professionals throughout Atlanta known for their business engagements, sense of style, community & philanthropic activities.

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