Expert advice for those making the climb

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Nominee
Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo

“I would tell the young Indra to work hard because, at the end of the day, success does not come to people who don’t work hard, who don’t pay their dues. I would say: work very hard, focus on the assignment at hand, don’t focus on the next job, focus on the job you’ve got and nail it. Be aware of the politics but don’t play the politics. Most importantly, make sure the people around you know that you are the most trustworthy, reliable and high-integrity person. On the personal side, I would say: while you do all of this, have some fun – and don’t forget that there should also be time to stop and smell the roses”

Nominee
Güler Sabanci, Sabanci Holding

“First, have mentors. Second, use those mentors to figure out what you want. And third, don’t focus on the rewards and titles – you should be working. To enjoy what you’re doing, you need to focus on what you’re doing. Take what you are doing more seriously than you take yourself”

Nominee
Jacob Wallenberg, chairman, Investor

“No degree or training can prepare you for the challenges and crises that are inevitably part of the job of running companies. I wish I had known how different it is to have the ultimate responsibility for a company”

Nominee
Anne Lauvergeon, Areva

“Be yourself, don’t let anyone mould you, don’t force yourself to fit in any system. I believe what we accomplish as individuals is more important than what we achieve through our professional responsibilities. Your job is important, but you have to keep your own private life, your own values, your own friends”

Panellist
Sari Baldauf, former executive VP, Nokia

“The most efficient way to learn is on the job; don’t hesitate to take on challenges, even risky ones. Build a good team with strong team members – make sure they are better than you, at least in their own areas of expertise”

Nominee
Irene Rosenfeld, Kraft Foods

“First, follow your passion. Pick something about which you are passionate because you’re going to spend a lot of time doing it. Second, follow the Golden Rule – treat others as you’d have them treat you. It’s essential to being a good leader, and it’s essential to being a good person. Third, make a difference. Whatever you choose to do, the situation needs to be better for your having been there”

Panellist
Andrea Jung, Avon Products

“As soon as you think you don’t have much more to learn, that’s the beginning of the end. You can’t reinvent a company or turn around a company if you don’t do that to yourself”

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