Indra Nooyi has always been admired as one of the exceptional leaders and a great Woman CEO. She is a woman of color and one of the most admired strategic thinkers of her time. Under her leadership, PepsiCo excelled and reached different heights.
My life in full is the much-awaited and talked about book which matched the expectations. This book is a great mix of humor, learnings, self-belief, gratitude, and empathy by a passionate leader. Indra Nooyi did not only discuss her achievements, but she also mentioned several incidents where she discussed so many ups and downs in her career and the personal struggles. Her fortitude to succeed in her professional life despite many hitches is a lesson for career-oriented women. Life of a working women is never easy in order to manage everything. It is even more challenging if you have kids or parents with special needs at home to take care of.
Indra Nooyi has written this book with complete honesty and great humor that brings her story from her childhood in India, surrounded by love, discipline, expectations, and college struggles, to her determined efforts to succeed in the corporate world. This book is a must-read for working women and men to understand the ground-level sacrifices and struggles.
We can learn a lot from her experiences, wisdom, and struggles. Indra takes us through the several events that shaped her, taught her to rise as a great corporate leader. From this book, we learned a lot about PepsiCo’s management and work ethics. Nooyi’s thinking as she steered the iconic American company towards healthier products and re-invented its environmental profile, despite resistance at every turn!
This book is full of incidents and scenarios which will give learnings to the working women, so let’s discuss those learnings:
- Determination: Nothing is possible without your sheer determination and hard work. If we want something, we have to give our 100% towards the goal. Indra mentioned that she was determined enough to manage her home, kids, and dreams in the book. We need to be sure what exactly we want from life, and if we want everything then how we will manage them together. In the book, Indra mentioned that she was determined about her choices and liking since childhood. She fulfilled her dreams with whole hearted hard work, and worked towards the choices she made.
- Balance: For inner peace and growth, we all need a perfect balance between work and professional life. Indra mentioned various incidents in the book when she managed her personal and professional goals with sheer determination, but it is not the case as a mother. She had to sacrifice multiple events and gatherings to fulfill her professional role. Even a statement by her mother proved that it will always be great if she keeps a perfect balance between work and home, especially if you are a mother. Her mother’s one strong statement in the book, “You may be the president or whatever of PepsiCo, but when you come home, you are a wife and a mother and a daughter. So you leave that crown in the garage”. As working mothers, we want that perfect harmony and peace with less mother guilt; we need to understand the balance.
- Support: When a woman decides to fulfill her dreams, she needs a significant amount of support from her spouse, family, and peers. As she knows when she is stepping out of the house and leaving her kids behind to fulfill her dreams, someone should have her back at home. Indra’s mother and her Husband Raj was an excellent support system for her during her entire corporate journey. She also faced the days when she decided to quit her job to take care of her kids, but then her Husband reminded her about the hard work and her passion. Her mother always stepped in whenever they needed them for the kids. Indra faced mother guilt several times in her life, but someone or other always stood up to support her. She expressed in the book that maybe she couldn’t be that great leader after kids, but her Husband was her rock and biggest supporter.
- Networking: Since the beginning of her career, Indra has been very supportive and engaged in all her given tasks. She was always understanding and supportive of the people with whom she works and her subordinates. She never hesitated to give credit to the people with whom she worked. Indra Nooyi always tried to make connections with various senior women executives as well. When she was a CEO, she wrote letters to the employee’s parents and families. It was one of the most significant gestures by any leader who understood the values of human interaction and attachments.
- Women Empowerment: Indra always believes in women em[powerment and upliftment of the various working women at the workplaces. Indra always tried her best to make the workplace comfortable and equal to her male counterparts. She raised her voice and made her thoughts understood at several board meetings full of all the male colleagues. She herself raised two beautiful independent daughters. Under her supervision, PepsiCO opened crutches for the babies at office premises so that the female employees could work stress-free at work.
This book is a great source of motivation for all the working women who want to achieve something in their life, who want to be role models for their families, who want to fulfill their passion and complete the family needs.