She may not be among the 100 most powerful women in Forbes yet but Kat Cole sure is an inspiration to all, especially women, aspiring to make it big in the business world.
Cole started out a career as a Hooters girl at 17 – this is a job where girls serve beer and chicken wings while wearing those tiny shorts. Two years later, she was chosen to help open an overseas branch. Then came other opportunities of training Hooters personnel.. and getting promoted along the way. After 14 years at her company and where she eventually became Vice President, she joined Cinnabon to be their COO in October 2011. Cinnabon is an American chain of bakeries usually found at airports and malls. And then by a stroke of fate, come January 2012, Cole became Cinnabon’s President.
First, take note that Cole is a college drop out. Nevertheless, on the urgings of her mentors, she did pursue an MBA program at Georgia State’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business which she completed by 2010 while still an executive of Hooters.
Comparing her to other leaders that organizations and recruiters normally look for, obviously, she didn’t have a solid educational background as well as other perks of life that would be helpful to one’s career – except for the “I can do it” attitude and her generous mentors which are fortunately the more telling ones.
Second, Cole accepts the fact that she doesn’t know everything and so, she understands she could not do everything – she needs help, just like what her mentors provided. She listens. She consults. She applies.
Now, at this stage of her career, many would even write a book about themselves yet all the book could do is highlight their vocations since most of these “autobiographer-executives” were actually born with a silver spoon. Okay, while one could find some lessons from these books, most already had everything lined up that they are absolutely expected to make it.
In the case of Cole, she really had to find her way; that if there was a book about her journey, many could truly relate to her experiences and struggles. And Cole is still 35, making her even more remarkable than those that are traditionally revered.
In the end, remember that success comes at different points. One doesn’t have to fret that someone became successful earlier than he did – time makes it happen. Be humble, sincerely caring and hard working as Kat Cole was – inevitably, luck will find you.
What’s your take?