259 | Grace Puma and Christiana Smith Shi | COO of Pepsi and Nike President of Retail Tell Us How to Succeed

In this episode of The Greatness Machine, Darius is joined by Grace and Christiana to discuss strategies for crafting a successful career, embracing resilience, and strategically navigating the ever-changing landscape of professional life. They also talk about Grace and Christiana’s upcoming book, Career Forward, set to launch on February 20, 2024.

In this episode, Grace, Christiana and I talked about:

  • The importance of leveraging network in finding a writing partner
  • Christiana highlights the value of having a clear direction or “cardinal direction”
  • Building professional networks and how it can be beneficial
  • Path of least resistance vs. intentionality
  • The concept of building professional equity by consistently demonstrating excellence
  • The idea of having a “growth stock mentality”
  • The concept of “operating at the top of your license”
  • Grace and Christiana talk about the audience for their book Career Forward
  • The idea of taking asymmetric risks in one’s career
  • Understanding and advocating for one’s worth in the professional realm
  • And other topics…

Meet Grace and Christiana:

Christiana Smith Shi, an accomplished leader, previously served as president of Nike’s consumer-direct division, overseeing the global retail and ecommerce operations. Prior to her tenure at Nike, she held a senior partnership at McKinsey & Co. Recognized for her influence in corporate governance, she has been honored as one of the Most Influential Corporate Directors by Women, Inc. Currently, she spearheads Lovejoy Advisors, dedicated to digitally transforming consumer and retail businesses. Shi is an alumna of Stanford University and earned her MBA from Harvard Business School, graduating as a Baker Scholar. She resides in Portland, Oregon.

Grace Puma boasts a distinguished career, having served as the executive vice president and COO of PepsiCo, and holding senior roles at United Airlines, Kraft Foods, Motorola, and Gillette. A valued board member of Organon & Co and Target, she has been celebrated on Fortune magazine’s “Most Powerful Latina” list and acknowledged as “Executive of the Year” by Latina Style magazine. Puma earned her BA in business administration and economics from Illinois Benedictine University. She calls Tampa, Florida, her home.

Meet Darius: 

Darius is your host of The Greatness Machine. Darius is a mad scientist, high-growth CEO, serial entrepreneur, author, conscious capitalist, speaker, and entertainer. Darius is on a quest to create 1,000,000 Core Value Driven Organization by 2030. He is calling this “The Core Value Revolution.” Darius is an alumni of the Birthing of Giants Entrepreneurial Program at MIT and Stagen Integral Leadership Program. Darius’s accolades include being ranked #9 Top Rated CEO in America on Glassdoor, has won numerous Stevie Awards, and has founded and grown organizations that have been ranked #40 in the Inc. 500 and were ranked #3 Best Places to Work By the San Francisco Business Time. He is all about the P’s: Passion, Pizza, Puzzles, and, especially, Pink Unicorns. His book, The Core Value Equation, is an Amazon #1 Best Seller and is available at www.thecorevalueequation.com.

The Greatness Machine shares lessons on how to framework your drive for results, create limitless space, and win the war on talent.

My team and I are on a mission to help YOU create a cultural revolution. I want to teach you how to build a core value driven organization. 



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Don’t let your Core Values become a company artifact!  Learn how to make Core Values the language of your organization.  Pre-order my book The Core Value Equation found at the link below 

The Core Value Equation




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