PayPal CEO: Your Actions Define You, Not Your Words

March 20, 2018, 7:23 PM UTC

When Dan Schulman talks about leadership, he says the person who made the most difference in his life was his father, who he describes as a “wise soul, a gentle person” and “my hero.”

Now, as the CEO of PayPal, the huge payment processor that ranks as one of the largest companies on the Fortune 500, Schulman says there’s one piece of advice from his father that “really stuck with me.”

“He always said to me, ‘son, you are what you do, not what you say,’ ” he explains. “That’s what defines you as a person.”

Before PayPal, Schulman held executive positions at AT&T, American Express, and Priceline. He also launched Virgin Mobile with Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson, who he says had a big influence on his leadership style and philosophy of leading.

“He basically said there’s no way that a company can be an enduring company if they’re not fundamentally a customer champion. So I really adopted that into my whole philosophy and way of thinking,” Schulman says about Branson. “And the second thing he said, companies need to be a force for good.”

Watch the video above for more from our conversation with Schulman.