As the virtual Chief Technology Officer for BearCom, I have a great job. It’s always fulfilling and rewarding, but I’d be lying if I said it was easy. Working hard to help make sure that our wireless technologies and those of our partners mesh seamlessly with our customers’ needs is a constant challenge—not only today, but tomorrow as well.
The good news is that there are strong role models out there who not only do this every day, but do it with great success. Cisco Systems‘ Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Engineering, Padmasree Warrior, is a stellar example. Padmasree helps define Cisco’s technological strategy and drives innovation across the company, working closely with the senior executive team and the Board of Directors. As an “evangelist for what’s possible,” she pushes Cisco to stretch beyond its current capabilities—not just in technology, but also in its strategic partnerships and new business models.
Padmasree first came to my attention back during her days as the Chief Technology Officer at Motorola, a key BearCom partner, where she helped accelerate progress in positioning Motorola as one of the primary drivers of the wireless revolution. Soon after she transitioned to Cisco, she electrified women in technology with a wonderful keynote address at the Women of Vision Awards event in 2009.
Padmasree came to my attention again recently because of her incredible impact on the social media world. For example, she’s very active on Twitter, where she usually tweets multiple times per day and graciously interacts with many of her 1.4 million followers, including me!
In addition to her work at Cisco and on social media, Padmasree serves on a broad range of government and industry advisory boards, as well as those of charitable and community organizations. The San Jose Mercury News listed her as one of the “Valley’s Most Powerful Women” in 2011, Fast Company magazine listed her among the “100 Most Creative People in Business,” and she was one of six women nationwide selected to receive the “Women Elevating Science and Technology” award from Working Woman magazine.
It’s clear to me that what makes Padmasree Warrior so incredibly successful is her instinctive understanding of how to create a shared vision that motivates teams of people—especially technologists—to new levels of success. I wonder if she would agree to teach me how to do that if I would teach her how to fly. Hmmm…