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Just Leave that Crown in the Garage

In late 2000, Indra Nooyi was working late at PepsiCo. At around 9:30pm her office phone rang. On the other line was a member of the corporate board who informed her that she would be the next president of the company. Nooyi was one of the first women to break this level of the corporate glass ceiling.

Nooyi recounts what happened when she arrived home to share the big news of her promotion.

I went home to tell my family that I was going to be president of PepsiCo, and Mum opens the door. She was living with me at that time. I said, “Mum, I have got news for you,” and she said, “Before the news, go get some milk.” I said, “It’s ten o’clock in the night. Why should I get milk?”

You know you never question your mum. I went and got the milk, came back, sort of banged it on the countertop, and I said, “I had big news for you. I have just been appointed president of PepsiCo, and all that you care about is the milk.”

She just looked at me and she said, “What are you talking about? When you walk in that door, just leave that crown in the garage, because you are the wife, the daughter, the daughter-in-law, and the mother of the kids, and that’s all I want to talk about. Anything else, just leave it in the garage. Don’t even try this with me anymore.”

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