Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader.
This is a simple story of a powerful woman. A story of an Indian girl who came from conservative Chennai to pursue higher studies in the US with little money and no safety net. If she failed, she failed.
A story of this determined girl, who while studying in Connecticut, worked as a receptionist from midnight to sunrise to earn money and struggled to put together US$50 to buy herself a western suit for her first job interview out of Yale, where she had just completed her masters.
Incidentally, she wasn’t comfortable trying out a formal western outfit and ended up buying trousers that reached down only till her ankles. Rejected at the interview, she turned to her professor at the school who asked her what she would wear if she were to be in India. To her reply that it would be a sari, the professor advised her to “be yourself” and stick to what she was comfortable with. She wore a sari for her next interview. She got the job and has followed this philosophy for the rest of her career.
She’s been herself, never tried to change her basic beliefs, derived strength from her traditions and believed in who she is. As she says, “I’m so secure in myself, I don’t have to be American to play in the corporate life.” She worked hard and in time was counted as one of the most powerful women in the world by Forbes.
The powerful lady is none other than Indra Nooyi, President & Chief Financial Officer PepsiCo, Inc – a lady who is both inspiring in her simplicity and grand in her achievement.
Moral: It was not a piece of cake for a women to achieve the post of CEO at PepsiCo, and Indra Krishnamoorthy Nooyi proved that your caste, your religion, your gender nothing matters. What matters is your hard work, determination, and your principles which you focus in your life.
An important attribute of success is to be yourself. Never hide what makes you, you.