I have been a business student for my entire life. I have studied companies, CEOs, industries, and markets for as long as I can remember, yet never have I heard as good an idea as I just heard during an interview with Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi on Bloomberg.
This woman realized that, as a grown woman, she still reveres her parents and wants them to feel proud of her. So she started writing to the parents of her managers. We're talking about executives, some of whom are in their 40s, 50s, or 60s, some of them making 7 figure salaries. She makes it a habit to write to each of them, over 400 parents, every year, tell them what their children are doing in the company, and how proud they should be. (she never writes anything bad).
The reaction from these high-powered executives, some of whom have thousands of people working for them, displays emotion that she says she has never seen before. Grown men and women come to her office in tears, thanking her for helping to make their parents proud.
I have always believed in equality between the sexes but never in some politically correct expression of similarity. It took a woman to have sufficient compassion and understanding of families to develop an idea like that. I've never heard of any business idea which was more brilliant while being so compassionate.
The thought of it made me cry. This is what women bring to the executive table. Women and men are not the same. They should be equal but never assumed to be similar. Those who do not recognize what women can bring to traditionally male roles do so to our detriment.
The next time I'm in a position to do so, I will steal her idea.
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