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“Leave the crown in the garage”: What I’ve learned from a decade of being PepsiCo’s CEO

Source | LinkedIn | Indra NooyiIndra Nooyi is an influencer | Former Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo

I took the helm of PepsiCo in 2006 and I feel so privileged and humbled for the role I’ve had the chance to play. I’ve faced many challenges over the years – as we all do – but with inspiration from family, friends, colleagues and other sources of wisdom, I’ve learned many lessons along the way.

Though it would be impossible to name all the lessons I’ve learned, I’ve come up with seven critical lessons for running a Fortune 50 company in the 21st century. These lessons are not restricted to budding CEOs. If you’re a recent college graduate looking for career advice, or simply a student of life looking for inspiration, I hope you’ll find these lessons equally useful.

1) Everyone needs a vision 

As it is written in the Book of Proverbs, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” The same can be said of any institution.

When I came on as CEO, I didn’t want to completely change the direction of the company. But I also believed we needed to bring a new sense of meaning to the work we did every day. We called it, “Performance with Purpose.” 

I knew that if we wanted to continue to be successful in the 21st century, we needed to adapt our business to consumers’ changing preferences and offer them healthier food and beverage options. If we wanted to lower our energy and packaging costs and get a license to operate in water-strained markets, we needed to be more environmentally sustainable. If we wanted to continue recruiting and retaining world-class talent, we needed to meet the changing expectations of a new generation of employees.

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