Be Fearless UK
These inspirational leaders can deliver in the moment, can you?
Confidence. Resilience. Flexible thinking.
Businesses. Education. Women in Business.
A few weeks later, in a hotel ballroom in Scottsdale, Arizona, I presented Performance with Purpose again, this time to Pepsi Co’s 400 top managers from around the world, who were gathered for our private annual conference. I talked for more than an hour, reflecting on our history, our performance, our brands, our capabilities, and our wonderful people. I then unveiled PwP in all its detail. I explained how PwP was not about giving the money we make to deserving causes. There was a place for that, but what I was talking about was a new way to make money. If we didn't transform our portfolio to meet changing consumers, we wouldn't grow; if we didn't focus on the environment, our costs would rise, and some countries would deny us license to operate; if we didn't let people bring their whole selves to work, we wouldn't get the best employees.
And if we didn't deliver performance, we couldn't fund purpose. Performance and purpose reinforced each other. It was a virtuous circle.
I threw my head and heart into this speech: I wanted all to sense my deep commitment. It worked. You could hear a pin drop as I spoke. They were electrified. No shuffling in the seats. And, when I finished, the group stood up and cheered.
Indra Nooya can deliver in the moment, can you?
The Slides by Walt Mossberg
To my knowledge, the only tech conference Steve Jobs regularly appeared at, the only event he didn’t somehow control, was our D: All Things Digital conference, where he appeared repeatedly for unrehearsed, onstage interviews. We had one rule that really bothered him: We never allowed slides, which were his main presentation tool.
One year, about an hour before his appearance, I was informed that he was backstage preparing dozens of slides, even though I had reminded him a week earlier of the no-slides policy. I asked two of his top aides to tell him he couldn’t use the slides, but they each said they couldn’t do it, that I had to. So, I went backstage and told him the slides were out. Famously prickly, he could have stormed out, refused to go on. And he did try to argue with me. But, when I insisted, he just said “Okay.” And he went on stage without them, and was, as usual, the audience’s favorite speaker.
Steve Jobs could deliver in the moment, can you?
Somewhat brazenly, I suppose, I laid all this out in my interview with Michael Riordan, the hospital’s new president. I even brought three-month-old Sasha along with me, too. I can’t remember the circumstances exactly, whether I couldn’t find a babysitter that day or whether I’d even bothered to try. Sasha was little, though, and still needed a lot from me. She was a fact of my life—a cute, burbling, impossible-to-ignore fact— and something compelled me almost literally to put her on the table for this discussion. Here is me, I was saying, and here also is my baby.
It seemed a miracle that my would-be boss appeared to get it. If he had any reservations listening to me explain how flexitime was a necessity as I bounced Sasha on my lap, hoping all the while that her diaper wouldn’t leak, he didn’t express them. I walked out of the interview feeling pleased and fairly certain I’d be offered the job. But no matter how it panned out, I knew I’d at least done something good for myself in speaking up about my needs. There was power, I felt, in just saying it out loud.
THIS WAS THE new math in our family: We had two kids, three jobs, two cars, one condo, and what felt like no free time. I accepted the new position (as vice president for community and external affairs) at the (University of Chicago) hospital.
Michelle Obama can deliver in the moment,