PepsiCo‘s Indra Nooyi was named CEO in 2006, and chairman in 2007.
One such lesson is that “people are everything,” she wrote. “The success of an enterprise usually comes down to one thing: the team.”
She had always known this, on some level, she wrote, and had adopted former CEO Steve Reinemund’s practice of writing notes to employees to acknowledge their contributions and accomplishments.
But on Nooyi’s first trip to India to visit her parents after being named CEO, she wrote, “the way I thought about all this changed completely.”
“A steady stream of family and friends came into the house. They’d go right over to my mother and say, ‘Congratulations.’ Or ‘You did such a good job raising Indra.’
“Watching them, I realized I’d never done for our senior executives at PepsiCo what my mothers’ family and friends were doing for her. So, as soon as I got back, I decided to send a letter thanking the parents of some of our executives. And since then, I’ve sent similar letters to spouses.
“The impact of these letters has led to some of the most meaningful experiences I’ve had at PepsiCo. If I have one request for those of you reading this who lead people, try this. The reactions you get will move you more than you can know.”