Kat Cole, President of Cinnabon and co-founder of Changers of Commerce, talks about her journey to adulthood after dropping out of college.
Kat Cole shares her story and how she gained success in this thought-provoking video. Cole dropped out of college to take her first corporate job and move to Atlanta. Through this decision, she discovered she felt as if she had left something unfinished, an inadequacy of sorts.
As a result, Cole always sought and continues to seek knowledge, believing a constant pursuit of education (whether formal or experiential) sets us apart, inspiring others to do the same.
Cole explains that day-to-day work as Cinnabon's president is rarely the same. However, there are core responsibilities that she tackles. Cole is responsible for the care, selection, development and coaching of teams who make the business what it is. This includes the franchises and their employees, corporate leaders, licensed manufacturers and retailers to name a few.
Growing up, Cole cites her mother as an excellent leadership role model. She witnessed how her mother handled adversity, raising three girls on her own with little resources or money. Always with a good attitude, Cole's mother never spoke an ill word of their father and their family situation. Her mother's personality created "fans" around her, who drew close and helped out, showing Cole how powerful kindness and respect is in attracting team members. Cole believes that a sustainable business cannot be built without those two traits and actions.
Women are still far underrepresented, according to Cole. However, there are emerging woman VP's in higher numbers, showing that women are not far off from seeing female movement in the corporate world.
Cole is not sure that she believes in "balance" when it comes to success in life, but rather harmony, which is what she seeks. The days that she is most intense and accomplished at work, she says, are the days that she is the least engaged at home and visa versa. Harmony is achieved, she says, by simply doing what you love.
Over the years any challenges Cole has faced haven't lasted long or been insurmountable. Large obstacles, if you look at them the right way, are actually redirections to get you where you're headed.