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5 Life Lessons to Learn from Leena Nair – The New Chanel Global CEO

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Leena Nair is named as the new global CEO of French fashion group Chanel. She is the former chief human resources officer (CHRO) of Unilever.

Nair will take up her role as the global CEO from January and will be based in London. She is the first female, first Asian, and the youngest CHRO of London-based Unilever.

After Indra Nooyi, the Chief Executive Officer of The Pepsi Bottling Group, Nair is the 2nd Indian-origin global CEO. Alain Wertheimer who is the founder of Chanel and is also current global CEO of Chanel, will take over as the global executive chairman.

Everything you need to know about Leena Nair

Nair has an experience of 30 years at Unilever. In 1992, she joined Unilever as a management trainee. She is counted among the Fortune India’s Most Powerful Women 2021.

Chanel has described her as a “visionary leader whose ability to champion a long-term, purpose-driven agenda is matched with a consistently strong record of business outcomes”.

Leena Nair Global Ceo Chanel 1

Unilever CEO Alan Jope said that she has been a pioneer throughout which she was Unilever. She has always played an important role in building their purpose-led, future-fit organization. Along with this, she is the member of ULE- Unilever Leadership Executive.

Nair is 53 years old who is also a gold medallist of Xavier School of Management. Xavier School is among the top Business schools of India. Ms. Nair is an alumnus of XLRI Jamshedpur.

5 lessons from Leena Nair

Invest your time and energy wisely

Ms Nair says that one should not waste time and energy on something they are not passionate about or that isn’t moving towards the goals you set.

In her Instagram post she gave an example of her friend who kept doing everything all at once. Then one day she realized this won’t take her closer to her goal. She kept everything aside and began investing her energy more wisely, she now has an agent and 2 scripts in development.

Find your purpose in life

Ms. Nair said that her college professor gave her one of the best advice ever. While she was pursuing engineering, her professor told her that would make a “lousy engineer”. He also advised she had a flair for management.

That was the time when she went to Pursue her MBA in HR and joined as a trainee in Unilever. Another thing her professor taught her was to always look for mentors.

Every experience is critical

Leena Nair is at a position where everyone dreams to be. This is because se never missed an opportunity to visit new places and learn new things even if they were out of her field.

She advices that if you get an opportunity to learn something new grab it. This could make a difference in advancing career. 

Feedback is a gift

Always accept feedback and learn from it, this is what Nair says. If people give feedback to you, it is because they care, and you have made an impact on the. If people don’t give feedback, it means they don’t bother to tell you about anything.

Always treat feedback and comments as a gift.

Every voice matters

Nair believes that every voice matter, it doesn’t matter what level they are at. She said that she would be standing where she is at today if she hadn’t questioned and challenged hierarchy and social norms.

She wrote this to encourage other bosses and managers to have an opinion of their team members as well.

If you want to succeed follow her learnings. You never know what lesson of Leena Nair brings a change in your life.

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Mansi Gupta
"Fair and virtuous, Royal and gracious", this is how she represent herself. Hailing from the city of temples Jammu, she completed her studies in Himachal Pradesh. Being a student of journalism and mass communication, she was always passionate about writing and speaking. She has also worked as a news anchor and reporter for digital platforms. Currently, she is working as a full-time content writer. She strongly believes in the 'power of writing' as those little words make a huge difference.
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