Cisco Canada Blog

Perspective: Today’s Pain Is Tomorrow’s Power

April 10, 2020

Like all Canadians, my daily routine is now radically different than it was only a few short weeks ago.

I’ve joked with my team that for one thing, my commute to work now takes two minutes – from the ground floor of my house to my home office up a flight of stairs. But of course, it’s so much more than that. It’s transformational for everyone. It’s also not lost on me that the impact is very different from one person to the next.

There are couples who are working from their kitchen tables while taking care of kids who are home from school, there are single people who are alone and in complete isolation, and there are people who don’t have any work at all anymore.

It’s difficult across the board – for parents and for children, for business owners and for employees, and for everyone in between.

It’s also a steep challenge for leaders of all kinds. It’s hard work in normal circumstances to lead people, but in exceptional times like these – with people spread apart and crucial changes being made constantly – leaders need to rise to the challenge and demonstrate resolve, empathy and reliability in every action they take. For leaders, it is crucial to ensure every team member clearly understands the intent, the impact, and employees’ roles in the often-daily changes that need to be made. Leaders need to be engaged, proactive, and deliver reassurance. There’s just no other option now but to lead transparently – with heart, soul and mind.

Our new reality has also reminded me how lucky I am to be at an organization like Cisco – for so many reasons. It’s incredible to see tools like our Webex platform helping thousands of more people to stay connected across the world, while protecting the fundamental security and privacy that we all hold dear. But it’s also humbling and heartwarming to see fellow team members find beautiful, moving ways to support each other and give back to others who are in need. It’s been so touching.

We all know that there is pressure, uncertainty and some hard days ahead. But I’ve been reminding myself that in spite of all the challenges, adjustments and anxiety we are all facing, we can draw inspiration and strength from the unexpected silver linings – the ones that come with being forced to face a situation that our generation has never confronted before.

We are being forcefully reminded of the huge importance that relationships, affection and conversations with our loved ones play in our everyday lives. Of how fresh air, sunshine and the beauty of nature around us are daily blessings that we too often take for granted. Of how a few precious moments of peaceful thinking can lead to amazing insights, ideas and creativity that improve the world around us. Of how family – yes, even those members who can drive us crazy sometimes – can be a safety net, a sounding board and an emergency blanket when we need it most. Of how so many of the frustrations and complications of our daily lives just aren’t that important when you compare them against the many reasons – big or small – that we have to feel thankful.

So that is my message to all of you: as we navigate a truly unique and challenging time in our history, know that it won’t last. I’m confident that the painful moments we push through today will become powerful experience that fuels our success tomorrow. So, take the time to step back, have perspective and remember to always be grateful.

Stay safe, stay connected and stay healthy, everyone.

Leave a comment


  1. Love this blog, feel proud how Cisco is engaging with the world and its employees during this difficult time.. 🙂

  2. Thank you that. We all need this reassurance.