Guest Blog and Interview by Christine Morgner
Jyoti’s life journey thus far defines the word FEARLESS. Jyoti’s mother had a huge impact throughout her life beginning in early childhood. As a retired Dean of Mathematics from a University in India, she was a well-regarded Professor of Mathematics and contributing author to the Master of Mathematics curriculum in India. All of Jyoti’s mom’s accomplishments were achieved because she never took “no” for an answer, even when it felt overwhelming or unachievable. She opposed family traditions prohibiting women from attaining a higher education and subsequently earned that opportunity for herself and her sisters. She viewed education as the foundation for progress and not only for herself, her sisters, her own kids, but of course for complete strangers too by supporting and financing education for household help and in low-income communities. Her acts of selfless pursuit of knowledge inspired Jyoti from childhood and instilled an obligation to carry forward the legacy. Jyoti says “I will always be an advocate for education. It is a legacy I choose to carry”.
Jyoti joined Cisco in 2006 and is currently a Senior Manager in IT leading a strong, 44-person team responsible for managing IT Innovation, Strategy, and Planning. Within the first one and a half years of her job in Cisco, she realized an opportunity for IT to grow as an innovation partner for the company. Jyoti took a fearless risk and re-wrote her own job description, leaving behind all that she was comfortable with and blazed a trail into the unknown. She inherited a small lab with 2 servers and a few resources which became the genesis of an Innovation and Research organization that today supports many revolutionary campaigns across the company. She believes that companies of tomorrow will be built upon the democratization of knowledge, decisions and work. Today, Jyoti’s organization is thriving and making a bigger impact on the company because of her FEARLESS actions. You can read about her leadership philosophy here.
In addition to her day job, Jyoti actively mentors and volunteers her time to help women who are early in their career. She is an active partner for the community relations team supporting their US2020 goals by hosting STEM related workshops. She is on the leadership board of ICON ERO and is a partner to other EROs such as Connected Women and CONEXION. It’s also through these relationships that Jyoti reinforces the same passion and value for education and “challenging the norm” instilled from her mother. In her free time, Jyoti enjoys painting, sketching, reading, nature/outdoors, and traveling with her family. She affectionately refers to herself as “artist by heart, geek by profession.”
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Love your fearlessness in rewriting your job description and sharing with Cisco your creativity and innovative out of the box thinking!
I have had the priviledge of meeting Jyoti several times! Besides being fearless, I find her inspirational!
Beautifully written blog Jyoti on the leadership philosophy. I’m so proud and lucky to have you as my manager 🙂 #FearlessLeader
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