A Call to Lead
A Call to Lead
Jennifer Morgan

Sarah Hauser

24 minutes Posted Jul 1, 2019 at 10:00 am.
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On this new episode of A Call to Lead, I sit down with someone out of my world, and probably out of your world too. Sarah Hauser is a champion windsurfer who knows a lot about leadership and navigating your ideal career. Sarah talks about how a missed deadline forced her to delay her plan to pursue a math degree and gave her an unplanned year off to pursue windsurfing, which turned out to be her true calling. There are plenty of lessons here—such as, control what you can, embrace the moment, and adapt. Here are 5 points that my team and I found inspiring:

  1. Sarah describes windsurfing as "a finesse sport" where, as in life, it's best to go with the flow. She explains: "You have to play with the forces of the elements—the wind, the current, the waves. So all of that can be against you, and you can try and force yourself and your equipment to make it through, or you can use it if you understand how to place your sail. I can windsurf without holding my sail."
  2. When she missed the deadline to apply to school for a math degree, possibilities opened. "I went from seeing life as those rails for your train to drive on, and you have to pick one path or the other, and suddenly they all exploded and there was no track. It was just an open ocean. I felt a sense of freedom and all right, I guess I can try anything." 
  3. Success happens when you are present, aware, and flexible. "Look at what's thrown at you and use it, not try to impose. And with the wind, you use whatever is happening at that moment to learn some things."
  4. Like a wave, life is unpredictable. "The wave is going to last a certain time, and you're going to do different turns on this wave. Obviously you want the whole ride to be satisfying, to be what you're dreaming of. But you don't know what's coming on the third or fourth section of the wave. You're only seeing how it's shaping. You've got to stay think true to yourself."
  5. And as we accept the ocean for what it is, we should accept life with all its challenges. "The ocean is a good analogy, I think, because you cannot get mad at the ocean. You cannot just be like, "Why me? It's just the way it is. Shift your perspective and see this challenge as a new opportunity to use the powers that you have.

You can learn more by visiting: www.sap.com/acalltolead. And you can subscribe and listen to episodes on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher. We welcome your feedback on the pod! Tweet me @JenniferBMorgan and use the hashtag #acalltolead or e-mail us at [email protected]

Where to Listen: Subscribe and listen to episodes on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher.


Jennifer Morgan is a member of the Executive Board of SAP SE and President of SAP’s Cloud Business Group.