Michael J. Coles, the cofounder of the Great American Cookie Company and the former CEO of Caribou Coffee, did not follow a conventional path into business. He does not have an Ivy League pedigree or an MBA from a top-ten business school. He grew up poor, starting work at the age of thirteen. He had many false starts and painful defeats, but Coles has a habit of defying expectations. His life and career have been about turning obstacles into opportunities, tragedies into triumphs, and poverty into philanthropy.
In Time to Get Tough, Coles explains how he started a $100-million company with only $8,000, overcame a near-fatal motorcycle accident, ran for the U.S. Congress, and set three transcontinental cycling world records. His story also offers a firsthand perspective on the business, political, and philanthropic climate in the last quarter of the twentieth century and serves as an important case study for anyone interested in overcoming a seemingly insurmountable challenge. Readers will also discover practical leadership lessons and unconventional ways of approaching business.
Time to Get Tough is a great underdog story that is a must read for anyone interested in facing a big challenge. You will walk away from this book with a renewed faith in the power of perseverance.--Dr. Kathy Schwaig, Dean Coles College of Business, Kennesaw State University