Going Beyond the Minimum

How you present yourself is just one type of decision making style in management … what’s yours?


In this video, Kat Cole, COO and President, North America at FOCUS Brands , shares a story from her early career days. The lessons she learned and the one decision she made that day continue to speak into her professional life today. Kat reveals the challenge and the broader implications of this early experience, and provides simple action steps for today’s emerging leaders.

With her signature style, openness and humor, Kat explains that while you may be doing everything exactly on task, you can always be thinking about the bigger picture, your career trajectory and how you can project your vision of your future in how you approach the present. “It was a lesson around: ‘you can do the minimum of what's expected, but that doesn't always allow you to benefit from the unknown opportunities that are around the corner.”

Are you doing everything you can to leverage opportunities? What could you improve in your work, your support of teammates, your communication style, and the way in which you present yourself? Share your comments below. For more decision-making insights from outstanding leaders, watch here: http://old.leadercast.com/cate...

This premium video is part of the series, Kat Cole’s Strategies for Personal Leadership and Leading Others. Watch all five parts of the series to develop and define your personal leadership principles for success.

I was a young leader, 20 or 21 years old, working at the Hooter's restaurant's corporate office in my first corporate gig, and the president of the company at the time had some international franchisees in and two of the vice presidents were gone and it was this schedule mix up. So he needed someone who understood training and development and the onboarding process to come meet with the franchisees. Our office was business casual, very casual, and so I was dressed well within the guidelines of the corporate standard. So I was doing what I was asked to do, sort of the minimum if you will, and I walked up and the president said, "Do you have a jacket?" I thought, "Jacket? This is Hooters, we sell chicken wings. We wear t-shirts and khakis in the office. Why on earth would I have a jacket?"

He said, "These franchisees are from a different country and it's the least we can do to show the respect to show up in a professional way." He said, "Could you go home?" and where I had to go was too far away and he said, "I hope you understand but it would show disrespect to show up that way. So I'll take care of it." From that day I always either wore a blazer or had one in my office. It was a lesson around you can do the minimum of what's expected but that doesn't always allow you to benefit from the unknown opportunities that are around the corner.

In that case it had to do with professional attire. But it can have to do with a lot of other things. Giving yourself the time in the day to take advantage of an opportunity. Not busying yourself so much that you can't respond to an opportunity. The relationships that you take the time to build. It plays out in a lot of ways. That was one small example but now people joke that my uniform is jeans and a black blazer. This.

Kat Cole

Kat Cole’s twitter handle reads “Connected-Creative-Conscious-Community building Capitalist, Biz Advisor, MBA, Coffee-loving Chronic Learner” – this not only describes her as a person, it describes the philosophies she applies to busi...

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