Joe Cozzolino: The Key to Success is Authenticity

February 16, 2018

Joe Cozzolino

Don't miss Joe Cozzolino at the 2018 Simmons Leadership Conference!

As senior vice president of Cisco Services, Joe Cozzolino leads the company's growing $12 billion global services business. In this capacity, he and his team help customers transform their businesses through a portfolio of advisory, implementation, training, optimization, managed, and support services.

Was there a moment in your career when you made a move to disrupt the status quo? 

When I was at Motorola, I decided we needed to diversify into a completely new market area. This was met with a fair amount of resistance and negativity. Fours years after doing a "start-up" in a big company, the net result was over $1 billion in new revenue. It was a satisfying result to a rough start.

What would you say is the most daring move you've made in your career? 

At the age of 34, with three children and a fourth on the way, I left a terrific role in managing a 1000+ person sales organization to run sales and services at a start-up. It was successful, but plenty of friends thought I had lost my mind. Thankfully, my wife trusted my judgment.

What did you learn from that experience? 

Taking risks, working hard, building great teams, and focusing on your customer will result in success.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve gotten along the way?

Be authentic and be yourself. In my career, that advice has never failed me. Being authentic and honest breaks down barriers and makes it easier to form relationships, which is key to success.

Fill in the blank. People would be surprised to know that I ____

started a security company out of college that supplied doormen (bouncers) to local bars and clubs in Worcester, MA. It was an interesting side job from my full-time role as an engineer.

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Valerie Plame

Simmons Leadership Conference

Every spring over 3,300 women come together for a transformative experience with celebrated role models and experts in their fields.