Sue Cole, who earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UNCG, was interviewed by The Business Journal about her work as founder of Sage Leadership & Strategy and her place in Triad business.
When asked about starting her own consulting firm in 2011, she said, “At the time I was at Granville Capital and glad to have a lot of job flexibility – my husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 colorectal cancer in 2006 – and a nice spectrum of financial services and clients to work with. But I wasn’t totally fulfilled, so I decided I wanted to hang out my own shingle and do what I really like. I’ve done a lot of board work and work with the Center for Creative Leadership, so I wanted to be able to combine strategy, leadership development and governance into a consulting practice.”
Cole also addressed being a woman executive in banking early in her career: “Women were beginning to move into management, but I don’t think there were any other female commercial loan officers in the area when I was first named to that job. But I felt like my customers treated me well and the bank treated me well, and I never felt threatened. I suppose in that era it’s possible some customers may have said something about my being a woman behind my back, but to my face, they were glad to get the loan.”
She was later asked about her work on corporate and civic boards, which she does in addition to her work at Sage.
“When I stated Sage I looked at all the boards I’m committed to and figured out how many hours and days I need to allocate to each, and it came out to about half of my time. So I’m very careful about accepting new clients because I want to make sure I don’t over-commit, and I’m pretty good at saying no. But here again, technology is making a difference. It’s much easier to keep up with board business electronically than it used to be.”
To read more about Cole and her work in Triad business life, her up-close interview is featured in hard copies of The Business Journal, as well as online with a subscription.