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The CEO Magazine
A monthly magazine for business leaders and decision makers

7 Career Lessons from Indra Nooyi

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7 Career Lessons from Indra Nooyi

Former CEO of PepsiCo Indra Nooyi is a strong and inspirational woman as she was one of the top leaders for a long time. She was the first foreign-born CEO to be featured in Fortune 500 Company. She worked at PepsiCo for almost 20 years and she leaves behind a legacy of innovation, social responsibility and initiative. There is a lot to learn from the life of Indra Nooyi if you wish to be a great leader someday. Here on her birth anniversary, we bring you 7 lessons which you should learn from Indra Nooyi life to build a successful career.

  1. Age doesn’t matter

When Indra Nooyi became the CEO of PepsiCo in the year 2006, she was 50 years old and she continued to serve the company with the same enthusiasm for 12 years. As her responsibility grew her hunger to be better grew with it. This is a hallmark of a great leader.

  1. Develop Passion

Nooyi loved her job as the CEO of PepsiCo as she told in an interview that “A person should love her/his job, you should do it not because it’s your job but you should do it because you love to do what you are doing.” He further added that “most of your life will be spent while doing a job or work; make sure that it fills your heart with joy.”

No matter if you are a CEO or an executive, its important do your work with complete happiness and if your job doesn’t fill your heart with joy then find another one.

  1. Be a Kind Person but a Tough Leader

Nooyi is known for her leadership skills and decision making and as she worked she raised the bar every time. She always said to her employees and colleagues that “do you best at whatever you are doing”.  Nooyi followed the following 5 C’s of leadership in her career –

  • Compassion
  • Communication skills
  • Confidence
  • Courage
  • Competence
  1. Give back to society
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Before Nooyi became the CEO of PepsiCo, the company was struggling to tackle health problems. After Nooyi was appointed she immediately addressed that Pepsi should do something about obesity. She also told their customers to switch to healthy snacks instead of sweet fruit juice.

  1. Balance Between Work and Life

Nooyi always believed that there should be a balance between your work life and your personal life. When you have a big responsibility to lead a company it became tough to manage family so you need to find a balance between them.

As you are building your career your kids are turning into teenagers and during that time your husband is going to act like a teenager as well so there should be someone sensible to balance it out. So make sure you set your priorities right.

  1. Stay Realistic

During her tenure as the CEO of PepsiCo, she used to set realistic goals for herself and her employees. She said that “I wouldn’t ask anyone to do something which I won’t do myself”.

As she left PepsiCo, she said that “a person on the top position needs to be active and due to the age factor I am not able to do those things as I used to do so there is a need for a person who can run the company more efficiently than me.”

  1. Set Your Priorities

While you hunt your goals make sure that you are spending time with your family and friends. Indra Nooyi said at her last interview as CEO of PepsiCo that “no matter how much money you make but in the end, you are left with your family, friends and faith.”

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