Kim Cosgrove graduated from the EMBA McGill-HEC Montreal in 2010. She is Vice President and General Manager of Construction Cogela Inc, a company specializing in the construction of commercial, institutional and industrial buildings. Here are her insights on audacity and making bold decisions.
Personal examples of bold decisions
Kim made her boldest decision in 1992, when she created her company, Construction Cogela Inc. Launched with limited resources at a time of economic instability; it was a way to create work for her and her husband. During the conference, Kim added with a smile that life had led her to take another bold decision: to continue to lead Cogela Construction Inc. with her ex-husband despite their divorce. Although bold decisions often cause her some stress, Kim believes that it is this stress that keeps her sharp and on top of her game.
The key: Surround yourself with good people
Over the years, as she has gained confidence, it has become easier for Kim to take bold steps. More importantly, it has also become easier to “sell” her bold ideas to the people around her. For Kim, the key to moving forward is to be surrounded by the right people. She has taken the time to build a strong team over the years, using each small success to strengthen her credibility and leadership and to inspire bigger decisions that demand more daring. That is also how she has managed to significantly reduce resistance to change in her organization. She sees the importance of giving her colleagues enough room to take their own bold decisions themselves. However, that, too, requires judgement. While encouraging bold moves, she knows she needs to more closely supervise her more ambitious and audacious employees.
Saying “no” can be one of the decisions that requires the most courage. According to Kim, in this situation, the key is to trust in yourself, avoid second guessing, and move on. Kim explained that having a personal coach has also been important. Have someone you can trust, who won’t take sides but is a good observer, can be a great help when you’re making bold decisions, including the decision to say “no”.