My Life in Full: Prouty Book Review

by Jeff Prouty

My Life in Full: Work, Family, & Our Future by Indra Nooyi

Here are the top 15 “gold nuggets” from Indra’s book that jumped out at me:

1. Big Change

“Roger Enrico (former CEO of PepsiCo) approach, and his claim to fame in PepsiCo, was that he made big changes to big things. Roger’s days started at 10 a.m., and he refused to read anything related to business after 9 p.m.”

2. Good Business

“Good business demands tough decisions based on rigorous analysis and unwavering follow-through.

3. Red Flag

“I found it more than curious that a couple of children at Tara’s (Indra’s daughter) birthday party one year asked if they could phone their mothers to get permission to sip the Pepsi we served. That sent up a real red flag for me.”

4. From Indra’s Mother

“You may be the president or whatever of PepsiCo, but when you come home, you are a wife and a mother and a daughter. Nobody can take your place. So, you leave that crown in the garage.

5. Pennies

“He (Steve Reinemund, former CEO) had pushed me to learn more about what he called the right side of the decimal point—the pennies—by asking me to oversee a major Frito-Lay logistics project.”

6. Celebrating Women

“Why not just let women soar in every part of life? Why not celebrate what we do well when we do it? We all love to see our daughters win at sports or in spelling contests when they are children. So why do we undercut grown women who succeed on the career playing field by frequently adding commentary on whether they are equally fabulous at home?”

7. Karaoke

“We’d enjoyed so many holiday parties, many hosted by me, that turned into karaoke nights or sing-alongs. I had compiled books with lyrics of 275 pop songs, and we all had dog-eared copies just for those parties.”

8. A Curiosity

“I was an immigrant woman of color from a developing market taking over a very well-known American consumer products company. And that made me a curiosity…I was a woman with an unsettling habit of humming during meetings to calm herself.”

9. Inclusivity

“I had adopted a philosophy that people should be able to bring their whole selves to work. I see this as fundamental to inclusivity in any organization.”

10. Positive Change

“Private industry—with its incredible ability to move fast and efficiently—in partnership with government, with its broad mandate, is perhaps the most powerful force we have for positive change in society.”

11. Thank You Notes

“I decided to write to the parents of my senior executives. Over the next ten years, I wrote hundreds of notes, thanking mothers and fathers for the gift of their child to PepsiCo.

12. Changing Players

“In hindsight, I think I kept some people in jobs for too long, hoping they would improve or change. During a transformation as consequential as PwP (Performance with Purpose), though, these people can be extremely problematic. I now realize that it’s better to move them out sooner rather than later.”

13. Overperformance

“The distance between #1 and #2 is a constant. When a leader overperforms, the team comes along with him or her; when the leader underperforms, the same thing happens.”

14. From Her Ballroom Dance Instructor

“My job is to lead and yours is to follow. Sometimes if you learn to follow, you will be a better leader.”

15. Employee Satisfaction

“82 percent of PepsiCo employees answered they were satisfied with the company as a place to work by the time I left, up from 74 percent when I took over.”



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