Leadership Thoughts from a Leader I Admire

By David Nour

John Chambers’ (Cisco) Expectations of Leaders

John recently provided advice and expectations for Cisco leaders that go beyond their own functions, meeting goals and building quality teams:

  1. Think about where we are going and understand the organizational structure and business model for Cisco. Master it and take it to others.
  2. Take one market opportunity at a time and talk to your team about it.
  3. Listen.
  4. Work and lead cross-functionally, seamlessly, and get results as a team.
  5. Work using collaboration and Web 2.0 tools.
  6. Get comfortable with the organization you work for changing with every meeting; this will constantly evolve.
  7. Vision, Strategy, and Execution (VSE) should prescribe everything you do. Always start with a VSE and remind your teams where they are going. Use the cross functional common vocabulary to describe what you want to accomplish.
  8. Think in four dimensions (time is the fourth) constantly, weighing the impact of your decisions and play out a virtual chess game in your head. Do it dynamically from one meeting to the next or simultaneously in more than one meeting.
  9. Part of the reward for doing a good job is you will move somewhere else. Establishing a comfort level with this is key to moving fast.
  10. Have fun.

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