Speaker Series – Kat Cole (President, Focus Brands)

On Friday, TNS student, Julia, conducted a brilliant interview with the amazing Kat Cole, President of Focus Brands. Kat spoke to our students about grit and how to forge a better world. The students left class inspired to go out and make a difference, and the faculty learned as much from the talk as the students did. Here are some points from Kat’s talk I think we can all benefit from.

  1. Be awesome every day.
  2. Balance curiosity and humility with compassion and confidence.
  3. Don’t seek perfection. Seek progress.
  4. Stay positive and resourceful.
  5. Be your own opposite. Don’t let yourself slack off but don’t be too hard on yourself either.
  6. Deliver results by managing your energy instead of your time.
  7. If you look “young” for your job, make sure your professional behavior makes up for it. 
  8. Always go above and beyond.
  9. FAIL is actually an acronym – First Attempt In Learning
  10. Know your roots but don’t you dare let them define you.
  11. Find a growth company to work for – you’ll have a greater chance for internal promotions that lead to greater responsibilities faster. 
  12. Tie your sister to a tree and thank your mom.*
  13. Find the right people.
  14. Cross oceans.

The last point is the one that tugs at my heart the most. There is an ocean between the world we are and the world we could be. Although I’m not a futurist, I am an optimist and I hope that the world holds more people like Kat who cross oceans and lead others to do the same.

P.S. If you literally cross oceans like Kat’s husband, Daley  you get extra credit.

*Just checking that you’re reading! There was an important message behind this though – to learn responsibility at an early age. 

The post was written by Rostam Zafari, TNS Entrepreneur in Residence