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Top Silicon Valley CEO Padmasree Warrior: These are the 3 traits you need to make it in tech

Padmasree Warrior is a force in the tech world. She is the CEO at NIO U.S., a premium autonomous electric vehicle global start-up. Previously, she was Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President at Motorola and the Chief Technology and Strategy Officer at Cisco.

Warrior grew up in India and ever since she was young, she has always been interested in science. She got her undergraduate degree in Delhi, India, and came to the United States to do her graduate work at Cornell.

Since then, she has been bestowed a collection of awards and titles commending her for her successful career as an Indian woman in technology, including being called one of "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women" by Forbes, one of "50 Women to Watch" by the Wall Street Journal, one of the "100 Most Creative People in Business" by Fast Company and "the 11th Most Influential Global Indian" by the The Economic Times.

Padmasree Warrior, CEO of NIO U.S.
Photo credit by Bloomberg
Padmasree Warrior, CEO of NIO U.S.

She says what's made her a success in tech are the same things that would make anybody a success in the field:

Ability and hunger to learn

"Firstly, the willingness and curiosity to learn is extremely important in tech," says Warrior to CNBC. "Anyone in tech who feels like they know all the answers are probably already redundant.

"You have to have this hunger to learn," she says. "Learning means ... sitting down with other people from different domains. Learning means discovering things, learning means reading things, learning means exposing yourself, pushing yourself [to do things] that you know people will tell you you can't do."

"To be confident means innately you believe that if you work hard and try hard, you will reach your goals." -Padmasree Warrior, CEO of NIO U.S.

Willingness to take risks

"I wish I had actually taken risks sooner in my career," says Warrior. "I think sometimes you get very comfortable in what you are doing and you want to stay in that same role. Push yourself and try new things."

Confidence, but not arrogance

"To be confident means innately you believe that if you work hard and try hard you will reach your goals. Arrogance means you feel you know everything," says Warrior. "And most people confuse the two, so I would encourage people to be fully self-confident and be confident in their ability to accomplish things."

Warrior says she avoids becoming arrogant by hiring people who are smarter than she is — it keeps her from ever thinking she knows everything. "Hanging out with them keeps me humble," she says.

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