Feature Video

Leadership@Cisco: Blair Christie

by Joie Healy

Blair Christie, Cisco's Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer talks about what makes a great leader and which characteristic she thinks is most important. In this video you will learn about what inspires her and what she is most proud of.


I am an extreme extrovert. I get my energy from people. I get my energy from being involved and engaged

First, the, the greatest leaders I've seen really have a vision - and by being that clear, at least in their own mind, they can really bring people along - I also have seen the greatest leaders show the most authenticity - and I think being authentic is something very easy to say, but is actually very hard to do - but, man! When a leader is authentic, you can really feel it, and it really inspires you to, to follow

There are big things I always knew I wanted to do - I, I knew I wanted to be successful in a field, whatever field that might be - and, boy, did that change a few times  - I knew I wanted to be a mother - had a fantastic role model of my own, so I knew that was something I wanted to do -

I'm hoping that the biggest improvements in technology do go to how we live and our mental and health state because I think that's something that we need to be a really strong society going forward  - I love all the technology, innovation that goes into entertainment, and certainly my kids do, too  - But I, I really hope the bulk of our technology innovations in the real frontiers we hit make us better humans, both in how we live, how we think and how we get along

I love to be outside, period. -- I love to garden. I love to play tennis. I love to hike. I have a really robust family life with kids who are really active, so keeping up with them is a lot.

Gosh, I started painting, especially using pastels when I was in about first grade -  - And I took art lessons and we never had anything really serious, but I was really proud of one time when I was in fourth grade. I did a picture of a sheep dog and that was something that this gentleman wanted to buy. -  Five hundred dollars. Fourth grade. Sold a first painting and I felt like 'Wow, I really made it. There's my career.' But my parents were like 'No! No! That wasn't the point.' –

Where do I get my inspiration? You know, I get very inspired when I see people doing the impossible – - So I, I really think when I see people do the impossible, I get very inspired to try to do the same thing –

And when I've seen that time and time again on my team, that makes me the most proud, I think - certainly a leader is only as, as strong and as effective as their team and all of my team's success is simply a reflection on our leadership together -  so that's what makes me the most proud.

Leadership@Cisco is a video series that introduces you to our leadership team at Cisco. During this series you will learn what inspires each individual, what they are most proud of and even something that might surprise you about each person.