It’s only natural to want to know why things went wrong, but to know why things went right takes a different kind of persistence, says Cinnabon president Kat Cole. It’s easy to take success for granted and to mistake correlation for causation–just because you’re doing something one way and your business is having success, that doesn’t mean the success is necessarily caused by what you’ve been doing. Taking this approach to success also means, says Cole, “that people don’t feel beat up for failing, but they should feel very concerned if they don’t understand why they’re successful.”
What’s the Big Idea?
Cole has moved into the upper ranks of international business from waiting tables at a chain restaurant, and then helping to open new locations in other countries. It was her mother who, after leaving Cole’s father, taught her the importance of independence and a sense of self-reliance. As for achieving success, Cole recommends being always coachable and detail oriented. “If you want to move up, you’ve got to get as many inputs as possible to continue to develop. Second, take your development into your own hands and be curious about the entire company. If there’s something you want to learn, go learn it.”