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Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Kat Cole is an incredibly intelligent leader.  She truly understands the importance of being authentic in her role as a leader.  She firmly believes that develops trust with her people and also makes her more approachable.  We are extremely fortunate to have Kat share her knowledge with us, the loyal listeners of The Learning Leader Show.

Kat is Group President at FOCUS Brands and responsible for building FOCUS Brands revenues and profits through global licensing, manufacturing, and ecommerce. Previously, she was President of Cinnabon, Inc. accountable for leading and growing the multi-channel brand team that drove record comp sales growth, brand expansion and franchise evolution during her tenure. Prior to her role with FOCUS Brands at Cinnabon, Inc., Kat initially work at Hooters as hostess, waitress, general manager and eventually promoted to a Vice President role at Hooters of America, Inc., a multi-channel brand which operates company and franchise restaurants.

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

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The Learning Leader Show

“Great leaders have the combination of courage and character mixed with curiosity and humility.” – Kat Cole

Some Questions I Ask:

  • What are the common characteristics of high achievers you’ve spent time around?
  • Americans seem to yearn for someone from the Private sector to be leader of our country (ie: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina), would you consider running for political office?
  • Where does your confidence come from? Have you always been that way or has it been developed over time?
  • How did you get the President of Cinnabon job?  What was the process?
  • How were you able to get 10 high level CEOs (including Ted Turner) to write you a letter of recommendation to get your MBA?
  • How did you meet Adam Grant?  He discusses your story often
  • What does being a learning leader mean to you?

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Courage & Confidence mixed with Curiosity and Humility are the traits of the greatest leaders
  • The importance of her Mom and the leadership and giving she exposed Kat to
  • How she went from Hooters waitress to President of Cinnabon
  • The importance of being prepared for your opportunity
  • The amount of work it takes leading up to big interviews in your life… It’s not just about the interview… It’s what you’ve done leading up to that moment
  • Kat’s take on politics and her potentially running for office
  • How to handle “takers” having short term success
  • How she was able to get letters of recommendation from 10 top level CEOs
  • Why “giving no matter what” is a long term strategy for success AND the right thing to do

“When you go to a new job or a new location, you will suck.  It builds humility… And that’s a good thing.”

Continue Learning:

You may also like these episodes:

Episode 001: How To Become A Master Connector With Jayson Gaignard From MasterMind Talks

Episode 034: Jimmy Hatch – Shot While Searching For Bowe Bergdahl And Sky Diving With Gabby Giffords

Episode 004: How Todd Wagner (and Mark Cuban) Sold Broadcast.com To Yahoo! For $5.7 Billion

Episode 010: Shane Snow – How To Accelerate Success Using Smart Cuts

Did you enjoy the podcast?

This was a jam packed episode full of great content.  Kat Cole is a leader who is constantly learning in order to help us all live a better life. Who do you know that needs to hear this?  Send them to The Learning Leader Show!

Episode edited by the great J Scott Donnell

Bio From Focusbrand.com

Kat is Group President at FOCUS Brands and responsible for building FOCUS Brands revenues and profits through global licensing, manufacturing, and ecommerce. Previously, she was President of Cinnabon, Inc. accountable for leading and growing the multi-channel brand team that drove record comp sales growth, brand expansion and franchise evolution during her tenure. Prior to her role with FOCUS Brands at Cinnabon, Inc., Kat initially work at Hooters as hostess, waitress, general manager and eventually promoted to a Vice President role at Hooters of America, Inc., a multi-channel brand which operates company and franchise restaurants.

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4 Responses to “Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon”

[…] I can’t encourage you highly enough to listen to the whole interview.  […]

[…] as a leader is Kat Cole, Group President at Focus Brands, Inc.. When asked by Ryan Hawk during her appearance on The Learning Leader Show why she was so open and public about her humble roots and Hooters waitress beginnings, Cole tied it […]

[…] as a leader is Kat Cole, Group President at Focus Brands, Inc. . When asked by Ryan Hawk during her appearance on The Learning Leader Show why she was so open and public about her humble roots and Hooters waitress beginnings, Cole tied it […]

[…] Sketchnoting The Learning Leader Show, Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon […]

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