Thursday, August 17, 2006

Wanted : Better role models

Two achievers, in two different fields, have revealed the secrets of their respective success.

Ms. Indra Nooyi ( on being appointed the CEO-designate of Pepsi) : Simple. I realised early in my career that, to make it big in life, I had to work twice as hard as the others did. That’s exactly what I have been doing all these years.

Mr Abdul Kalam ( on Independence Day, replying to a student who wanted to know how he too could become an Abdul Kalam): Simple. hard work and sweat.

This is simply terrible. I am dismayed. Must Pepsi-Nooyi and Presi-Kalam attribute their success to Perseverance and Perspiration? And make lesser mortals like me squirm in shame and wallow in guilt because we haven’t been slogging our butts or sweating our skins out?

Instead, if only the indefatigable Kalam had said that his entire success was due to the fact that he was always laidback, never missed out on his 12 hours of sleep a day (“When India stayed awake, I slept on to my destiny”), never bothered to cut or comb his hair and never missed a cricket match or a vacation, I would have had a role model after my own heart. But that was not to be…


Anonymous said...

Their hard work speech wants me to go sit in corner with my ears closed tight. will that help?

Shruthi said...

Ha ha!! Good one! :))) You sound like a cartoon character - I can't remember who ;)

dazedandconfused said...

They are both Liars.

Indra is from IIMC, Yale and worked in Boston Consulting Group. I rest my case; being from one of those institutions myself.

As for Kalam, am sure it was a benevolent lie as he wanted to set a good example for the kids who already are super efficient as they use the internet and other tech stuff to do double the work in half the time that you, me and definitely Kalam ever did.

When I become rich and famous I promise to attribute it to my guitar classes and marathon running.

Also look at He thinks Nooyi's success might be because she has a good passport photograph. I can almost agree.

Usha said...

I realised early in life that I wasn't meant to go anywhere and so I decided to sit back and watch others run and cheer them when they win.
I never miss a meal, never missed sleep over anything, never chased any targets and never had the burden of beinga rols model to anyone.
I am happy the way am. You are not alone. Come let us cheer them!

Raj said...

Sowmya, sound waves from pontificating mouths can easily penetrate your hands. Don't even try.

Shruti : Sad Sack?

D& C : Guitar is fine,man. but, marathon running is hard work. Don't mention it in your autobiography.

Usha : hey, I love that attitude. You are my role model!

Anonymous said...

She's a very interesting woman. We actually highlighted her in our book, Your Leadership Legacy, which will be published next month by Harvard Business School Press. We say in the book that Indra Nooyi is, in legacy terms, a classic “Ambassador”, with an ability to handle a variety of complex situations with grace. Ambassadors can break ground without breaking glass, and she is a talented executive. Pepsi is lucky to have her!

Rob Galford