“Leave the Crown in the Garage”

In a moment, I will explain the title of this Next Level Thinking blog, but I wanted to start by sharing with you the thoughts of a business leader, whose work I recently read about on LinkedIn. Her name is Indra Nooyi, and she is the Chairman & CEO of PepsiCo. In the article, she described the seven critical lessons she has learned for running her company. I felt you might be interested in learning these, too. Here they are:

  • “Everyone needs a vision.” – When she became CEO of PepsiCo, she decided that she wanted to bring a new sense of meaning to the work she and her employees did every day. With this in mind, she added that, in order to continue recruiting and retaining world class talent, they needed to meet the changing expectations of a new generation of employees. Sound familiar? I know it’s getting tougher to hire top talent in many industries, and the key will be to provide your Team with a vision that not only illustrates the direction of your business, but also inspires your employees to make it a reality. Are your people inspired?
  • “Think hard about time.” – By introducing these new programs, she felt they were now focusing not just on the short term, but on the long term as well. For many in agriculture, for example, 2015-2016 have been financially devastating years. Yet, this is an excellent time to think long term. Are you looking ahead and doing all that you can to boost your efficiencies for the long haul?
  • “Ensure that culture change sticks.” – Whenever you initiate programs that change items in your business management, you can expect to face resistance. To minimize this factor, be sure that you are getting “buy-in” from your Team. You will undoubtedly need their support, so be certain that you send them a clear & positive message.
  • “Listen carefully.” – I’m sure you’ve heard the expression about each of us having one mouth and two ears, meaning that we should listen twice as much as we speak. Believe me. I’m guilty as anyone of violating this rule. However, the point I want to share here is that often there are people in your business who have great suggestions on how to do things differently, often in ways that are far better than how we currently complete them… My question for you is this. Are you truly listening to their suggestions?
  • “Be a student for life.” – Do any of us know it all? Of course not. In all my business travels, I grasp every opportunity I can to learn more about how other people do certain tasks in business. Trust me – flying over 100,000 miles a year will provide you with plenty of lessons about how you should (& sometimes how not to) do numerous tasks in business. Are you learning new things daily? I offer you a suggestion: Please take a moment and visit success-strategies.com where you will find new items, such as articles, blogs and videos, posted every week. And, the good news is that many of them are free!
  • “People are everything.” – I wish someone had told some of my prior “bosses” this. Your Team is one key to your success. Be sure to thank your people when they do things well. A “Congratulations” today will lead people to back you up when the going gets tough, and at some point, it gets difficult for all of us.
  • “Leave the crown in the garage.” – Now for the explanation on the blog title above. Indra, the day she was promoted to President of PepsiCo, went home and told her Mother, who was visiting, that she had a big announcement. Her Mom told her that was great, but first she needed to go to the store and buy some milk. She went to the store, and then told her Mom the great news. She said that was great, “but when you step into this house, you’re a wife and a mother first. Nobody can take that place. So, leave that crown in the garage.”

Her point was that we all have to determine our priorities, so she reminds us to never forget the multiple important roles that we play. I’m often reminded that all our employees have lives beyond their job responsibilities. I am sure you’ll agree that these roles are essential to their overall success, too.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these seven crucial lessons from Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, and that you will find a solid application for some or all of them in your company. Remember, it’s your business!