Watching Leadercast Live videos on Leadercast Now: Kat Cole

How many of you were unable to attend Leadercast Live 2016 in Atlanta or one of the hundreds of host sites worldwide?

We know that each year, there are thousands – hundreds of thousands – who would have loved to attend the largest one-day leadership event in the world, but just couldn’t make it. As a Leadercast Now Gold subscriber, you can have access to the individual speaker sessions and exclusive backstage content. Don Yaeger, author, speaker and a Leadercast Now contributor, shares highlights from watching Kat Cole’s Leadercast Live session:

One of the breakout stars of Leadercast Live 2016 in Atlanta was Kat Cole, the group president of FOCUS Brands, which runs more than 3,300 stores across six brands: Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Schlotzsky’s Deli and McAlister’s, all around the world. Drawing on her experiences chasing Greatness, Kat offered great tips about how to take your organization to the next level.

Kat explained that leaders and businesses have to strike a balance as they pursue their mission and vision, trying to find the “sweet spot” between focusing on what they can control on a daily basis while ensuring they still take care of the most important tasks.

“I really believe in this concept of focusing on things that are small enough to change and big enough to matter,” Kat said, noting that this advice applies in the business world as well as in sports.

“I find that both leaders and teams all have different types of goals and they want the big goal,” Kat added. “If it’s football, you want the Super Bowl but you need to win today’s game to get there. That’s a example of small enough to change: today’s game, today’s play, today’s business, today’s decision. But all of that’s ultimately still big enough to matter and leads to the big game.”

Kat stressed that this advice does not mean that people should give up on pursuing their dreams and big goals. Instead, she said her advice provides “good discipline to great priorities” that will help businesses become Great Teams and allow individuals to reach their ultimate ambitions.

“The path to the dream is paved with stones that are small enough to change but big enough to matter,” Kat said.

Leaders can play an important role in helping a team strike that balance, Kat notes.

Not only does Kat offer ideas and insights on leadership, she’s lived them. Starting as a Hooters hostess, she rose through the ranks, becoming a vice president for the restaurant company at the age of 26. Kat joined Cinnabon in 2010 and became its president in 2011. During her time there, Kat helped Cinnabon expand with more than 200 new locations and reach more than $1 billion in sales for the first time. Under her leadership, Cinnabon pursued new opportunities by partnering with restaurants such as Burger King, as well as outlets such as grocery store chains and products such as Cinnabon coffee and popcorn. Kat also spurred Cinnabon to international growth in more than 50 nations. In early 2015, Kat moved to her current position as the group president of Atlanta-based FOCUS Brands, the parent company of Cinnabon and five other brands.

One of Kat Cole’s passions is sharing her knowledge and experience with others, which is evident in her Leadercast Live 2016 stage presentation. She has been active at the global level with Global Hopes Network International, turning her attention to sustainable development and other issues in Rwanda and Ethiopia.

When I listened to Kat Cole, I was inspired to ask my colleagues:

When has your team focused on things small enough to change and big enough to matter?

We’d love to hear your answer!

If you would like to see more of the 2016 Leadercast Live speakers, visit

Don Yeager is a sought-after motivational speaker and New York Times best-selling author.

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