Irene Rosenfeld, the CEO of Mondolēz, discusses some of biggest lessons and mistakes she’s made in her career. Following is a transcript of the video.
SARA SILVERSTEIN: And we and our audience always likes to hear from people who have achieved what many of us aspire to achieve. So I’d love to ask you a little bit about how you got to where you are and can you tell me like the best piece of advice you got from someone?
IRENE ROSENFELD: I think my very best piece of advice is “be yourself”. You know, I grew up in business at a time where there weren’t very many female role models, and so in the early days, we wore little bow ties like the guys and we talked about the army even though we weren’t in the army. And the reality was that wasn’t the right way to approach the business world. And I think, over time, as there has been certainly — there are more of us in the management ranks as there is more understanding of the value of diversity, I think the opportunity to be able to express ourselves and approach business in a way that makes most sense for us. I would say probably the most — one of the areas that changed the most is that there was a much more of a hierarchical focus in companies as I was entering the business world than today where we see much more of a flat structure, a more egalitarian structure and the reality is that the employees of today are looking for that.
SILVERSTEIN: Great. And can you share, if you’re willing, the biggest mistake you think you’ve made in business or your career and what you learned from it?
ROSENFELD: I think the big lesson I learned over the years is there’s always a sense, when you figure out what you want to do, there are ten reasons why you should go more slowly, and I would say the big lesson I’ve learned is moving faster is better than not. And I think it pertains to organizational restructures, it pertains to making changes with respect to employees, a whole host of things. But I think the big message is move faster rather than slower.
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