Growing at Cisco: through CSAP to People Leader

16 years back, as a recently available college graduate, my entire life changed the day We was accepted in to the Cisco Product sales Associate Program (CSAP).

Ritchie and co-workers before Cisco sign.

Today, 17 “7 days 52s” later, I can let you know that I’ve not merely grown up with Cisco – I’ve grown a lifetime career I’m proud of on Cisco. And every 52 weeks, year whenever we end another fiscal, I’m excited to observe how far we’ve come.

As a people leader in charge of a nine-figure business with 13 solution specialists over the southeast, I understand I’ve found just what i wanted all those full years back at Cisco. While my peers hopped around from company to company, I remained steadfast because I came across a family group here.

Cisco’s culture spoke if you ask me in early stages and is at the core of what I focus on as a leader in my own current role. I use some of the absolute best people in the that are all here to greatly help each other (and Cisco) succeed. Being in this environment pushes me to give my best and be my best self each day its infectious!

When I started at Cisco, being in a position to work for John Chambers, among the most Iconic CEO’s of our time in the tech industry, was my initial draw to the business. It became very clear to me, however, that Cisco is special due to the people that work here; its why I’m here, it’s why I stay.

On day one, I arrived with excitement and butterflies as I entered a large town hall space in another of the 15 buildings Cisco occupied on the sprawling tech campus in Raleigh, North CarolinaI didn’t know a soul. It was overwhelming and humbling, but because of individuals and the leadership – it also felt like home, too.

A year later my CSAP cohort will be spread all around the United States, and I would make my way to the field sales office in hot, humid Atlanta, Georgia. Again, I came across myself filled with nervous excitement, within an unfamiliar place not knowing a soul. But, at Cisco, you discover a home always.

Ritchie with Chuck Robbins

Everybody I interacted with always wanted me to be successful, and the team pulled me directly into their fold. They perhaps didn’t want to do that, with all the current experience they had they might have easily found ways from it – but that’s not how exactly we do things at Cisco. I always knew that these were my people.

In my 16 years with the business, I have been an integral part of some incredible teams and held a variety of sales roles. From small business to midsize enterprise to the Fortune 500 across a variety of verticals, I can’t think about another company that affords such a distinctive possibility to keep growing. Whether it was exposure to different business models, learning how exactly to collaborate across times zones or harnessing the strength inside our diverse teams to make game changing impacts for our customers, partner, and communities we support – there was always the capability to grow here.

As a people leader, I have come full circle as I will have the added responsibility to greatly help continue growing our culture, acquire the best inside our people while providing them with a safe space to fail forward, and recruit top talent who’ll forward carry Cisco.

I found a family here; I came across a home it’s where I belong. I am hoping 1 day you’ll join us and become celebrating your first end of fiscal year around soon!

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