http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/become-ceo-career/

This article is written by Ramanuj Mukherjee, CEO, iPleaders.

I want to share with you the story of Kat Cole. It is a story of how to grow really fast in your career.

Many people do bad, wrong, mean, cheap and even horrible things in their career because they want to grow fast. The story of Kat Cole proves them wrong.

You don’t need to be evil to succeed. Rather the opposite, being actively good to people around you is the best recipe for success.

Cole got a job as a waitress at Hooters. It’s a chain of food joints. She was 18.

Then one day, the cooks didn’t come. Maybe they were on a strike or unannounced leave of some sorts. Not important.

What did Cole do? She told the manager that she is going to help to cook and serve the customers. She did.

She went beyond her duty and did a lot more than her bosses would have expected.

Then one day the cashier fell sick. Cole volunteered to help. She learnt that part of the business.

This way, very soon, she had helped with every possible job in the store and knew exactly how everything was done.

At that time, it was not some well thought out strategy. It was in her nature to help everywhere she could irrespective of what her job description may have been.

She was cheerful, happy and extremely helpful. She wanted to help every person she could because that’s what she saw her mom doing as a single mother.

One day the manager quit. It fell upon Cole to manage a shift.

Soon she was asked to train every new joinee, because she knew all the work.

Then Hooters was going to open a new branch in Australia. Their first store down under. Who do you think they asked to help to set up that store? And the other ones after that?

This was within one year of joining Hooters, and at the age of 19! After Australia, she went to Mexico, Bahamas, Argentina.

Kat Cole the waitress soon became Kat Cole the manager expanding Hooters from one country to another.

By the time she was 26, she was Vice President. As a part of the executive team, she helped to expand Hooters to some 400 stores in 28 countries.

Then Hooters was bought out by a private equity company. What do you think happened to Kat Cole? Was she thrown under the bus?

No. By this time, she had such a tremendous track record, that Cinnabon hired her as their President at the age of 32. And after joining Cinnabon, she grew the business like anything. In 4 years, their revenue exceeded a billion dollars under her guidance.

She is now a part of American corporate folklore. It all became possible because she was driven by a desire to connect with people, to help them, and for those people to succeed.

Don’t you love to have leaders like that?

Then why not be that person? You do not get to be that person by undermining someone else, or by doing petty politics in the office, do you?

I hear so many people incessantly engage in talking down others, self-aggrandizement, gossip and basically harming the culture of their own work environment.

Is there a better way?

I leave you with that thought. How can you bring more energy, more competence, more success in your workplace? You don’t have to be the CEO to be the driving force of change. You don’t have to be the managing partner to transform the organization, one small part at a time.

Kat Cole is proof of that.

I invite you to increase your knowledge, skills and overall competence every day. 2019 could be the year of breakthroughs. At LawSikho.com, we are counting on it and working for it.

Do share your thoughts by leaving a comment. I read every comment and would love to know how you are planning your 2019. Inspire me!

 

 

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