At the intersection of technology, finance and the Pacific Rim.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Hybrids--New Leaders

Anand Giridharadas wrote a very incisive article in the NY Times about the emerging style of new leaders for the globalized world. I also have been thinking much about this as I adjust from one business style to another and from one industry (investments) to another (education). So what he had to say hit home in a very clear way--one of those--"absolutely right" moments. He profiled Indra Nooyi, the well-known Chairwoman of Pepsi Cola--new breed, Indian, woman, with one foot in India and one foot in USA. He describes her in this way:

"She is the chairwoman of PepsiCo, an American citizen born in India who has spoken of entering American politics one day. She was in an all-woman rock band in college. As a Yale student, she says, she wore a sari to an interview with a consulting firm and, upon getting the job, kept wearing it. She is a New York Yankees fan. She walks barefoot in the office at times, in an echo of the Indian aversion to closed shoes. She speaks in a faintly Indian accent while tossing out Americanisms like “cut my teeth.”

My Comments: Wow--talk about diversity--I especially admire her wearing a sari--particularly to a job interview--guts. There are a lot of points in the article about what the qualities of this new breed of global leaders. Very much worth reading. But there was an end-point to the article that was one of those "I have never heard that before" Anand writes:

"Shortly after Ms. Nooyi became PepsiCo’s chief executive in 2007, she has said, she returned to India and visited her mother, who asked her to dress up and sit beside her as guests came to offer good wishes. One by one, they ignored the famous leader and went straight to her mother, telling her what a good daughter she had raised. Like the hybrid leader she is, Ms. Nooyi brought the idea home and to the parents of her senior managers. “I wrote to those parents and told them how much they contributed to the success of PepsiCo through the gift of their son or daughter,” she said in a video interview posted online. “And it unleashed emotions that were unbelievable.”

That's why she is Chairwoman. What a tool for motivating your executives!


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