The 37-year-old president of a $1 billion brand shares her best career advice for young people

Kat cole cinnabonCinnabonKat Cole.

When Kat Cole doles out advice, the rest of us would be smart to listen.

Cole is the group president of Focus Brands, which owns Cinnabon, Auntie Anne’s, and Moe’s Southwest Grill. Cinnabon alone is a $1 billion brand, reports Today.

In a short LinkedIn Pulse interview, Cole shared some of the best career advice she was given as a young professional that applies just as well to 20-somethings today.

“A piece of career advice I received when I was incredibly young,” she said, “was that anytime you get criticised, take a moment and assume the criticism is accurate. Assume the person criticising you is right, just for a moment.”

Cole went on to explain that giving the other person the benefit of the doubt “puts you in a position of such thoughtfulness and maturity.” Then, she said, you’re able to figure out whether you agree, and to think about why you might be receiving this feedback rather than getting bogged down in a debate over whether it’s right.

By taking that moment, “you’re able to be a little more thoughtful in moving toward a dialogue and a solution, versus simply debating your lack of alignment on what they believe,” she said. Being able to do that, she said, requires that you be humble and curious “and realising there’s a lot to learn around you.”

She said the advice has served her “incredibly well” across various aspects of her job and her nonprofit work, from working with franchisees to managing the boardroom.

Watch the full interview below:

Kat Cole On Reacting to Criticism, Keeping the “Big Dream,” and Following Your Passion de LinkedIn Pulse

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