According to the former CEO & Chair (wo)man of PepsiCo, effective leaders need to have this skill.

You may have never heard of Indra Nooyi, but you’ve definitely heard of (and binged on) many of the products that she's spearheaded. Do Doritos, Pepsi, Cheetos, 7UP, and Tostitos ring a bell? We're not sure if Indra Nooyi ever stress-binged on Cheetos herself, but we do know she kicked ass for 12 years as the Chair(wo)man and CEO of PepsiCo Inc. 

During her tenure, she was consistently ranked as one of the world’s most powerful business women. She grew the company’s sales by 80%, was named as one of the “Best CEOs in the World” in 2018 and was awarded “CEO of the Year” in 2009. She also championed the introduction of healthier food options to PepsiCo's product line.

In a recent interview, Indra Nooyi was asked about characteristics that make an effective leader. Of the four key characteristics she listed, two of them (that's 50%, people!) had to do with confidence and communication.

Here’s what she said: 

“Courage and confidence. Very often, people are very good and know a lot of stuff but they don’t have the courage to speak about it or the confidence to speak about it. And if you don’t, what’s the point of being of being competent?”

“The sister skill [to courage and confidence] is communication. It’s an understated requirement. Communication is critically important.” 

“I needed people to be on my side. I needed the frontline to accept that culture is going to change in the company. And I can’t do it in sound-bites, or in 15-minutes because it’s all about telling the story. So, if I showed that I was tired or this was just a speech instead of a passionate call to action I wouldn’t have gotten these people on my side.”

“In my life, I’d never failed a course. The only course I ever failed was an Oral Communications course [at Yale] because I spoke too fast; my brain and my mouth were not synced up. Two women worked with me to sync up my brain and my speaking so I could communicate my ideas in a compelling, understandable way. So, I am eternally in gratitude to those two people.” 

In today’s world, the team around you determines if you are successful or not and so how you coach people, is critically, critically important.”

**Watch the Full Interview**

Moral of the story, having strong communication skills and projecting confidence and courage is critical to being an effective leader. And the world needs more female leaders ( right now). 

Which means we need you, your ideas and your voice ASAP.  

To get you started, here are some articles/books we're reading as well as a few ways you can train with us. 

Articles/books we're reading:

Ways you can start training with us: 

Until next time...

Happy practicing and hope to see you soon!

- Speak for Success Team