Cisco Poland Blog

One Company, Many Careers – how Sharon moved from a Tech Engineer into a People Leader role

8 September 2023


Q: How did you decide to become a People Leader? 

A: I started with Cisco as an Engineer in Customer Experience Cloud and Managed Services team (CX CMS), and now I am leading a team of Security engineers in CX Technical Services. My first choice was to try being part of a different technology team and continue my journey in technology as an engineer. I admit I was comfortable in technology and being an individual contributor, but I wanted to drive my passion with a team and took my step into leadership where I can encourage and support people.


Q: What or Who inspired you for the change? 

A: My team played a key role in the decision-making when I was stepping into leadership role. I knew I could always come back if I ever felt I didn’t want to continue as people leader. Having this back-up option was extremely important and gave me confidence to embark on this new journey.

To make the transition even more exciting, I wanted to lead a team, where I was unfamiliar with the specifics of technology they worked on, and I got this exact opportunity. It helped me not to fall into micromanagement and allowed me to have a space to understand the bigger picture and focus on building trust and strategy.



Q: What was your biggest learning through the transition? 

A: Early in my role, I wanted to lead in a way that helps my team members see their full potential and purpose in what they do. I’ve had two mentors – one to show me how to be a leader, the other – how to innovate. They guided me to look at things differently, shared their stories of success and failure.

The beginning of the role was difficult: I was rushing through the team meetings, talking too fast, and almost no one turned on their cameras in the virtual meetings. I understood I cannot force others to get the work done, I needed to create a safe environment to encourage creativity. I researched group activities, games, did many leadership training courses and improvised with virtual meetings to invite people to collaborate and share. As a result, one of the first things I took to my team was to boost participation instead of pressuring them to follow a strict plan.


Q: What advice would you give to those who are thinking about a change but are still hesitant? 

A: Always be willing to try something new.  Enjoy your comfort zone while it lasts, but don’t hinder yourself from exploring new opportunities. If not sure, try to do a stretch assignment with the team where you find an interesting role. Usually, Cisco leadership is supportive of stretch assignments, and it is one of the easiest ways to learn and try.

Leave a comment


  1. Excellent Sharon. Inspirational.

  2. Congratulations Sharon..!
    Your journey to this position is a testament to your commitment to excellence, and I have no doubt that you will continue to excel in this new role . Your ability to lead and motivate others is admirable, and I'm confident that you'll make a positive impact on your team and Cisco. Wishing you continued success and fulfillment in your career as a People Leader. Your accomplishments are an inspiration to us all, and I'm excited to see where your leadership will take you next.

    Once again, congratulations bro!
    Wishing you all the very best!

  3. Our college Leader, good leadership quality

  4. Sharon is great intelligent person, Good leadership quality

  5. Inspired journey Sharon!