With two decades of experience in various leadership positions at Cisco, Chris Dedicoat was a natural choice to become the company’s Executive Vice President for Worldwide Sales in August 2015. His immediate prior role was as Cisco’s President of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Russia [!emear!]—a role he held for four years. Before that, he’d been the senior vice president of European markets; the vice president of sales for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; and the vice president of the UK and Ireland.

Chris says his professional background has strongly influenced his leadership style and the way he approaches his role. “The real benefit of the roles I have had looking after EMEAR, and parts of Asia, is that I have learned how to operate in different cultures, to understand how people think and, in turn, how to maximise the talents of diverse teams. I’ve learned that any leader working in a multicultural environment needs to be able to adapt their leadership style.

Working with many different cultures across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, for instance, means you have to understand the various nuances, in order to support the people who work for and with you, and to express yourself in the most authentic way.”

Chris believes that we are all on a lifelong learning cycle and, having travelled extensively and now working abroad, he has been able to adapt—not only to other people’s cultures, but also to new areas within Cisco. “I’ve worked in the US before, and it represents around 50 per cent of our business. For me, it’s a key learning experience—to be able to understand the many different cultures that exist even in the US, from the east coast to the west. I am constantly learning, and this is a great thing.”