Most of us strive to be successful at work. While it's a common and admirable aspiration, you should be wary of its adverse consequences.
That's according to Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP — one of the world's leading software companies — who says that success can make you vulnerable to one of the most damaging workplace diseases: Complacency.
"Success is an anesthetic," McDermott told CNBC's "Managing Asia."
He said success "gets people a little laid back" and they start to think: "We can relax now, we made it."
"No, you can't," he continued, "if you decide to sit back, somebody's going to take your lunch away from you."
McDermott speaks from experience. He told CNBC'ss Christine Tan how his 16-year tenure at SAP has seen one his key competitors, cloud computing firm Salesforce, go from being the "underdog" to having a "better idea."
Salesforce has shot ahead of its rivals — including SAP — to become the leading customer relationship management company.
Now, as CEO of SAP, McDermott said he is determined to ensure the company doesn't rest on the laurels of its 46-year legacy and continues "moving forward." That includes a recent partnership with Jack Ma's Alibaba to tackle the company's next frontier: China.
"You know, the most important thing a leader can do with a successful company is beat back the complacency disease on a daily basis," he said.