6 valuable career lessons from Indra Nooyi’s parting note as PepsiCo’s CEO
As Indra Nooyi stepped down from the role of PepsiCo’s CEO after a momentous run of 12 years yesterday, she took to LinkedIn to pen an emotional note on her journey. Indra will remain on as the chairman of PepsiCo-a company she joined 24 years before- early on till the next year.
In the heartfelt note, Indra thanked her PepsiCo family for helping her make this company the icon it is today, for their ingenuity, commitment to excellence, and passion for serving your communities. Indra also shared six key reflections from her journey that have guided her throughout her career.
Always have a clear, compelling vision
Indra states that irrespective of whether one works in operations, sales, R&D, or any of the functions, one should always have a clear, compelling vision for what one wants to accomplish.
“As it is written in the Book of Proverbs, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” And I’ve found that to be true for all of us, no matter our role in the company.”
Focus both on the short and the long haul
Indra urges to focus both on the short-term and the long-term.
“Yes, you need to hit your short-term targets, but always try to do so in a way that’s sustainable over the long haul, a way that balances the company’s level — and duration — of returns, a way that generates a profit while also making a difference, always advancing the values of Performance with Purpose.”
Success or failure usually comes down to the team
Indra believes that it’s the teamwork that determines success or failure of a company.
“Third, bring people along with you. No matter how smart your strategy, success or failure usually comes down to one thing: the team. In everything you do, find teammates who can help execute your vision and empower them to succeed.”
Be a good listener
She urges people to be good listeners and take advice positively.
“When someone gives you feedback, assume positive intent. Assume they’re genuinely trying to help. Think their words over, and be willing to challenge your assumptions. I promise, it will make you better associates and better people.”
Be a lifelong learner
Indra urges people to be lifelong students.
“Our world is changing rapidly all around us, and if you want to continue to thrive in the years ahead, you’ll need to continually educate yourself.”
She urged PepsiCo employees to visit the company’s Lifelong Learning Library in Purchase, take a course at PepsiCo University, listen to podcasts or search Google—however, you do it, make your ongoing education a priority.
Make the most of your time
Finally, Indra urges all to think hard about time.
“We have so little of it on this earth. Make the most of your days, and make space for the loved ones who matter most. Take it from me. I’ve been blessed with an amazing career, but if I’m being honest, there have been moments I wish I’d spent more time with my children and family. So, I encourage you: be mindful of your choices on the road ahead.”