Feature Video

Leadership@Cisco: Fran Katsoudas

by Joie Healy

Fran Katsoudas, Cisco SVP and Chief of Human Resources gives us insight into her upbringing and what helped shape her and influence her to become the leader she is today.

 Video Transcript

There's a lot of things that I'm passionate about and I would say the first is my family. Watching my kids become their own people. And watching them grow and develop and make tough decisions and to do things very differently than what I do, is something that I love watching and something that makes me really , really proud.

The three characteristics that I think make a great leader. The first is learning. I think the hunger for learning and development is critical. The second thing that I would say is passion. I think it's so important for leaders to have perspective and to question what do I really care about and why. And then the third that I would say, is the ability to grow amazing teams.

There was a point in my career where I remember I was at a leadership meeting and I looked around the table, and as I looked around the table I realized that many people that were sitting at the table, had at one point in their careers worked for me. And I was so pleased to see their growth, feeling like i had a part to play in how those folks grew and developed is something I'm very proud of.

((Text: what will technology enable us to do))

What I really like at the moment is the intersection of social media and career. I think what it's doing is putting more and more of a spotlight on skillsets and capabilities and what truly makes people unique. So I think over time we're going to stop having things called job titles, I think we're going to get more and more clear about what the work is and what is the best.

((Text: What is Something that May Surprise People?))

Something about myself that would surprise people. I would say, I played violin as a child. I was horrible. So I don't know, that may not surprise people. I was on a television show when I was a child, and i was a host of a kid's news program. And so each week I would create this little segment, I wish that I had the recordings, cause they must have been like the funniest thing ever. But it was a chance for me to share my perspectives at a very young age. And sometimes when I'm doing things like this, I laugh and I kind of thank my parents, cause those types of opportunities help me with what i do today.

In my teens, I had this really cool concept and it's something that I go back to from time to time. And the concept was, I wanted to go back and write history that included women in more realistic roles. So many times from a history perspective, women were portrayed as it relates to the social norms of the time. And so the thought that I could go back and inject some reality into that and show a different portrayal of women in history is something that I love, it's something that I still think about.

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