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Date posted: 16th February 2021

16th February 2021

Stories from an Inspiring Leader – Carmen Collins

Stories from an Inspiring Leader – Carmen Collins

Carmen Collins, Employee/Employer Brand & Social Media Lead, Cisco

Carmen encourages her team to give back. In April, she created the Give Back to Get Back on Track campaign not only for her team, but for the entire People & Communities organization. On her own, she had started using social media to oer up her advice on personal branding and resume writing, but when team members saw it, they wanted to participate as well. Thus, Carmen created a campaign (in under a week!) that saw almost 375 hours from 60+ participants.

2020 also created new challenges, which Carmen and team met in unique ways. If you had told Carmen that she’d be leading a TikTok campaign for talent brand prior to March or 2020, she would’ve laughed you out of the room. But unique times called for unique tactics, and she helped her team carefully and thoughtfully plan an employee-ambassador led program on a controversial platform that once again yielded results. Focused on the audience (interns) and in light of a virtual summer internship, her team led 30+ interns and 15+ full-time employee ambassadors to almost 300K total views in 3 months on topics from intern talent shows to TikTok ‘resumes’.

Carmen’s strategic thinking, calculated risks and drive for evaluating for business impact helps her team spread their wings and fly. Her employee-generated content strategy changed the social media space for talent branding, and it was never more tested than it was in 2020. As employees’ lives changed, their social media sharing changed, and thus, her team’s @WeAreCisco content was able to flex and showcase a culture that stood strong. These types of posts even INCREASED the metrics success of the channels. It’s why the strategy she put in place is aptly named the ‘Circle of Goodness.’


“Carmen leads with empathy and transparency. She’s a standout leader because she is truly interested in the lives of those she leads. She has the unique ability to lead teams through change, she’s such an effective communicator and she ensures not only that her team members feel valued, but she also works to provide constructive feedback that aims to grow those on her team. She’s an inspiration to work with because she’s passionate about her work and doing what is right, highlighting the work of others along the way.”

About Inspiring Leaders

The extract above is taken from the Inspiring Leaders 2020 initiative which recognised exceptional leaders during the Covid-19 pandemic. You can download the full eBook with all the leader stories here.

Inspiring Leaders was created as a vehicle to recognize people who stepped up to help individuals, teams and organizations navigate personal and business challenges, and make a contribution to make their business, their community and the world a better place.

Due to the success of IL 2020, we have brought it back in 2021. We are now open for nominations. For more information about how to enter Inspiring Leaders, dates and fees – click here.