Leadership@Cisco: Edwin Paalvast

Senior Vice President of Cisco EMEAR, Edwin Paalvast shares why he is passionate about people, not just in the workplace but also in life.

Senior Vice President of Cisco EMEAR, Edwin Paalvast shares why he is passionate about people, not just in the workplace but also in life. Find out what he thinks makes a good leader and why. 
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 Video Transcript

PAALVAST:  I'm absolutely passionate about people. If I see how some people on the team actually come up with a new idea, a new proposition for the customer or the way they've actually helped the customer, and they can talk so passionate about it. And that's really, really inspires me.

(text 3 characteristics that make a good leader)

(animation text:
Vision
Passion
Authenticity)

PAALVAST:  So, for me the three things that a leader needs to [inhibit]; first one is vision. If you can't see where we're going and if you can't lead people in that direction, that's going be very, very hard. But today just telling people doesn't work. You need to believe in it. You need to have passion. So, that would be the second characteristic for me. And authenticity to me is also really important.

PAALVAST:   So, am I doing what I thought I would be doing? Actually absolutely not. When I was a young kid, I want to be a mining engineer because my uncle was one and he brought these beautiful stones and crystals and things that really kind of were awing me. Later I realized it's not as romantic of a job as I thought it was. So, since then I actually kind of rolled into IT. And here I am. So, absolutely not. And I feel massively privileged to be where I am today.

PAALVAST:   What may surprise people is that first of all I play guitar. But don't worry, I don't sing. And the second thing is when I was much younger, I actually set up a charity for hospitals. For children in hospitals. And the inspiration was I was in the hospital myself when I was very young.

PAALVAST:   What you learn as a leader trying to create something from nothing is that first of all you need to believe. Second, you need to persevere. And last one, never give up.

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