Suzan B. Kereere
SVP & GM, National Client Group, American Express
MY GREATEST STRENGTH
I believe my greatest strength to be my boundless curiosity. This trait has helped me maintain an adaptable outlook towards life & business. In this ever changing business landscape, it is a true differentiator to be able to manage your business with the ability to change course with ease.
WHO INSPIRES ME
I am deeply inspired by remarkable people like Harriet Tubman, whose extraordinary courage and ability allowed her to work with other remarkable human beings (specifically white women). Together, they created the “Underground Railroad,” a network of escape routes and safe houses along which Ms. Tubman personally led upwards of three hundred slaves from the American South to freedom.
The unsung heroes of this extraordinary work were the white women who, at great personal sacrifice, opened their homes as “stations” or safe houses. This story is significant in at least one respect: when our humanity transcends our differences, we accomplish extraordinary things together.
HOW I MOTIVATE OTHERS
Throughout my career at American Express, I have been fortunate to work with accomplished individuals that were also self-motivated. These extraordinary men and women inspire me daily. For my part, I motivate myself and others by example. I continue to believe that leadership by example is perhaps one of the greatest motivators.
I am very proud of my role as mentor to a lot of young women of African descent who currently attend numerous colleges and universities around the United States. The sponsoring organization for this mentoring activity, Zawadi, was founded in 2002 by a very close childhood friend of mine, Dr. Susan Mboya Kidero. Zawadi sponsors young women through college with the goal of creating strong women leaders for the future.
I have learned two critical lessons: First, in the context of a rapidly changing business environment, it is important to develop new skills constantly. Second, do not underestimate the value of creating and maintaining relationships. Relationships create the types of strategic partnerships that drive business success.