Leadership@Cisco: Marthin De Beer
Cisco's Senior Vice President and General Manager of Video and Collaboration shares a life lesson he learned after getting lost on his first solo cross country flight, and talks about the accomplishment that forever changed the business world.
December 16 , 2013
Leadership@Cisco is a video series that introduces you to our leadership team at Cisco. View the entire leadership series here.
Transcript: I've always been an adventurer at heart, and it started when I was really young, living in Africa, so I started flying at a very young age.
I remember getting lost when I was about 15 and a half on my first cross country flight, at seven thousand feet and at first panicked, and then realized if I don't stay calm and figure out a way to get back to my destination I would be history. That has taught me one of the biggest lessons in my life which is the more stressful the situation is, the calmer you have to become.
I get my inspiration first and foremost from customers, when I interact with customers and I see what they do with our technology. It's very inspiring.
But I'm also very inspired when the employees on my team get excited about what we're working on.
First of all a good leader has to have a great vision, secondly, a great leader has to have passion that creates a followership to really realize that vision. And thirdly I think a great deal of humility.
If you are humble enough to realize you can never do this yourself, that's when people you know are willing to follow and at the end of the day, the glory when something is successful, goes to the entire team.
I'd say what I must proud of as a leader is what I have accomplished along with my team, and the positive effect it has had on business in general as well as society more broadly. You know TelePresence when we created that, was a tremendous innovation that has changed how people do business forever.
Graphic: What will technology enable us to do?
I think it will give us the opportunity to find cures for major diseases that affect people like cancer and I can't wait for that day. I also think that it'll perhaps make business travel obsolete. At the same time I think technology will enable us to travel to places we've never imagined possible.
Graphic: What was a turning point in your life?
I think on the personal side it was my faith in God that really changed my life, in a big way. On the professional side it was making the decision to come to Silicon Valley and to the United States. That completely took my life in a different direction.
My children make me laugh. Honestly I find my kids hilarious. We took up boating, now we explore the oceans. We boat in many parts of the world as a family.
I've always dreamt of having a much bigger impact on society as well as the world as a whole, having said that, I feel it's only the beginning. I truly feel I can do a lot more and I'm excited about what the future might hold.