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VIDEO SERIES: Leadership@Cisco

Leadership@Cisco: Wim Elfrink

Wim Elfrink, Cisco's Executive Vice President, Industry Solutions & Chief Globalisation Officer talks about his upbringing, what he believes makes a good leader and also how and why he changes his hobbies every couple of years.

Joie Healy
June 04 , 2013

View the entire leadership series here http://newsroom.cisco.com/ciscoleadership.


I had no idea what I was going to do when I was 20 and I started to work at my first job in Italy, I'm from the Netherlands, my father always taught me, and I'm Dutch, he was liberated by the Americans after the second world war, Wim your future is in the states. I always had an idea that my future was in the states.

First I believe in self actualization that you really stress yourself doing something new and learning and it can be in business in different parts of the world. Secondly, I believe in authenticity and I think you always have to do something you believe in and that you are capable of doing. The third element for me is branding predictable outcomes value system that represents the company of course.

I most proud of as a leader that my family is still with me (laughs) I've lived in seven countries in three parts of the world and it gave me a balanced life. Business wise I have done and learned a lot from mentors, for me what I am most proud of is the last five years an opportunity the company gave me to create the Globalization Center in East India.

I never predict technology for the coming 5 to 10 years, however connect the unconnected what we try to do at Cisco having lived in India you can connect the end connected and in the next 5 to 10 years we can have technology-based around the network and it will virtualize education and healthcare .

I had a real dramatic turning point in my life when I was early 30s I became a widower. I had a son of four years old who had learning difficulties it was really hard time they gave me new perspective in life to find another balance and you create at that moment and you learn to appreciate new values.

I'm still learning,  I am,  so sometimes I surprise myself about what I do but there are couple of things – I have changed my hobbies every 3 to 5 years it started with photography I've been a runner,  I have run 42 marathons but having lived in seven countries and moved houses a lot I love gardening so in every house where I live around the world I have planted trees.

I'm most passionate about learning trying achieving anything in business and in sports I love to reinvent and the passion comes with it and the things you achieve.


Related Tags: Cisco Culture , Wim Elfrink , Leadership@Cisco

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