Growing up, I looked up to my mom – I still do! As a kid I was inspired by my mom’s dedication, work ethic, and resilience. I wanted to be just like her when I grew up – and I’ve kind of done just that as we’ve both found a unique place for ourselves at Cisco!

In December 2018, our CEO Chuck announced our new guiding principles of give and take that exemplify how we want to show up as Cisco employees. My mom and I live out Cisco’s 6 Principles of “Give and Take” every single day and I’ve even noticed a shift in our dynamic. I’m able to give to my mom in a way that I was never able to before as I’m on my incredible career journey, and in turn she is able to take what I give her to help grow and develop her career – still 11years later at Cisco!

Here’s how we give & take:

1.Give my best – No matter where I’ve worked, from student tutor and Jamba Juice to hosting customers at Cisco’s San Jose Customer Experience Center – I always strive to give my best. I think the strong work ethic my mom instilled in me was truly one of the best outcomes in how I was raised, as it showed me the power of good work and giving it my all. It’s a skill I learned from my mom but is valued at Cisco.

2.Give my ego a day off – Sometimes my mom asks me for help in troubleshooting a computer issue or isn’t quite sure how to navigate – we’ve all been there, right? But Cisco has shown me how to give my ego a day off. Being a digital native puts me in the position to help so many others with what comes intuitively to me but may not be second nature to her. I’ve been challenged to exhibit patience and understanding, in turn her gratitude towards my help humbles me.

3.Give something of yourself – Giving something of ourselves is one of the greatest gifts we can offer to another, and in the moments where I get to help my mom I’ve noticed that it additionally allows me to exercise my Teamspace strengths as a provider and teacher that thrives on helping others grow.

Teamspace helps Cisco employees understand what our strengths are as well as what the strengths of our co-workers are. We can then understand what we each bring to the table to make our world a better place through technology. In this sense, Teamspace is enabling me to help my mom be her best.

4.Take accountability – My mom has taken accountability in her new role to truly make it her own. It’s so inspiring to see that after all the years of her experience, she continues to reinvent herself, adapting and growing into a leadership role as the Lead Program Manager for the Global IT Advisor program. Her previous roles traditionally had a support focus and she’s handled the evolution to leadership with such grace.

5.Take difference to heart ­– We might be at the same company, but there’s a lot of variety here at Cisco and my mom and I are the perfect example of that. The type of work we do is different and the way we approach work is different too.

My mom is in IT and is very organized, detail-oriented and thrives from a process. I, however, am in marketing and communications where I let my creativity lead the way within my daily tasks.

We’ve been able to leverage our differences by staying open-minded with one another and simply sharing our individual views helps each of us think of new ideas!

6.Take a bold step – My mom has taken bold steps throughout her entire life and I’m convinced this is part of who she is. Her resiliency and perseverance has enabled her to find new roles at Cisco to grow into. When times got tough, she got tougher and she never stopped trying to grow despite any fear or anxiety.

She even stepped into a new department – IT – that she wasn’t as familiar with, because she believes in the Cisco mission and has found herself tied to a greater purpose.

Cisco’s Principles resonate with me as they’re a human approach to not only Cisco technology, but they’re an applicable resource for any relationship we have in life – we all need to give and take some time.

It makes me proud of the Cisco culture because our leadership is obviously trying to cultivate a sense of trust and belongingness – one you’d hope to find within your own family.

These principles remind me so much of what I’ve learned from my own mother, and to see them reinforced here at Cisco is truly proof that mother knows best. 😊

I’ve heard the phrase, “We’ll never be able to pay back our parents for all they’ve done for us.” It’s true, but I have to say it feels great to know that as I’ve grown older, I can offer my mom the gift a fresh perspective and be a sounding board and strategic partner while we both grow in our roles at Cisco.

Want to join us? We’re hiring. Apply now.


Lauren Grimaldo

Talent Brand Manager & Social Media Specialist

Global Talent Brand Team