Leena Nair, Indra Nooyi, Art of Writing
Building your category of one by being a deep generalist
I am Utkarsh, the founder of Network Capital. Building a meaningful career is about prioritizing learning over destination. If we are intentional about picking the right problems and partnering with the right set of people, the destination will care of itself.
I got to know Leena Nair, the newly appointed CEO of Chanel, through her writing. Our Harvard Business Review articles were part of the Editors’ Picks last year. She wrote about being brave in uncertain times and I shared thoughts on building your category of one.
Leena has built her category of one by being a deep-generalist par excellence. She learned problem solving from engineering, industry knowhow from factory floors where among other things she ensured washrooms were built for women and people management from a wide range of HR roles in Unilever where she championed diversity as a key component of corporate strategy.
The principle of being a deep-generalist is essential for solving complex problems at scale. That’s what great CEOs are expected to do. As Leena embarks upon her journey to transform Chanel into an even bigger powerhouse, I wish her the best and hope she continues to write. Getting a glimpse into her thoughts and ideas will be a powerful tool for all of us.
P.S. Former Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi (we recently hosted her on Network Capital) is Leena’s mentor who has often guided her through some of the most challenging decisions.
P.P.S. Our mission is to help every person and every organization on the planet build their category of one. We have raised funding from Facebook and serve as partners to Government of India’s Atal Innovation Mission enabling mentorship to over 1.6 million students. We would love for you to join us and gift the NC experience to those you love.