MONICA MCCOY Founder, MonicaMotivates & Acting Global Director, Strategy & Innovation for The Coca-Cola Company
MONICA MCCOY is the Acting Global Director, Strategy and Innovation for the McDonald’s Division where she leads a range of visionary business initiatives in Canada, Mexico, Asia-Pacific, Europe and Latin America. Since starting her career with The Coca-Cola Company in 2002, her innovative approach and passion for pushing the envelope have earned her a variety of strategic positions and expanded responsibilities. Monica sits on the executive board of Women’s Lead, Inspire, Connect (LINC), The Coca-Cola Women’s Business Resource Group that engages women at the company to drive business performance and reinforce its reputation as a great place for women to work. She chaired LINC’s Global 2015 Leadership
Conference, reaching more than 1,000 members in 32 countries. She is also Vice President, Ambassadorship, for LINC, responsible for developing relationships with organizations and individuals to help advance women and girls. In 2011, Monica McCoy noticed the amount of women struggling to find their passion and purpose. Sparking her to action, she founded MonicaMotivates, providing executive-level speaking, coaching and consulting services to professional corporate women and female business owners. Monica initially thought she wanted to be a cardiologist when going to college, but quickly learned that she wanted to help save people’s lives in a different manner—her degree from Emory University is in Psychology.
Q & A with Monica Q: What is it like working for a giant corporation like The Coca-Cola Company? What challenges have you encountered? A: By nature, I am a driven individual who sees challenges as opportunities. I have always been open to diverse experiences, so I have never been one to manage my career by staying in a silo. I wanted to explore and The Coca-Cola Company has allowed me to do just that. My modus operandi is to take on one to two-year assignments that others may not raise their hands for. You don’t have to stay in the same role for 10 years. I don’t mind doing things that really stretch me. I have a background in Psychology, but I have held various roles in Finance, Marketing, Strategy and Innovation—because I don’t put any limits on myself. I think that if you are passionate about something, you should go for it and welcome new opportunities to grow. I don’t chase job titles. Instead, I strategically consider what experience I can gain and what disciplines I can add to my toolbox that will strengthen the breadth of knowledge that I bring to my organization, and will make me a well-rounded asset. Q: What is your secret to balancing work and family? A: Personally, I have given up on the term balance. I prefer to focus more on being a whole authentic person. It’s critical that we all have someone we can count on who complements us, understands us and supports us. When balls start dropping, this person is going to be there no matter what. I have learned that you will never achieve perfect balance all the time. My husband is an amazing man, a true friend to me, and my partner. We’ve been married for 12 years; we have two children together: Mathew (10) and Morgan (7). There are five things I always take into perspective: my Faith, Family, Fitness, Fortune and Fun. All of these things impact everything else that comes afterward. Q: Tell us about an AHA moment you’ve experienced most recently. A: I realized that we really have to be comfortable letting go of trying to be in control of how it’s going to happen—whatever that is. So many times, I see people give up way too soon. They had a plan for how something was supposed to go, they met with a rejection, and they just quit. They stopped pursuing their dream altogether. In my career, both personally and professionally, and in owning my own business, I’ve had far more rejection than stories to celebrate promotions, deal closings and the like. I think we sometimes fall into a place of saying, “If it doesn’t happen when and the way I want it to happen, then it’s just not meant to be.” Quite frankly, we must embrace 44 | VIPSEEN | NOVEMBER 2016
rejection and failures, and take time to reflect and even write down lessons learned and key takeaways. Some of the most beautiful moments—your AHA’s—come in a moment of silence and solitude. Q: You recently wrapped up a women’s conference in Atlanta, which you produced and hosted. Tell us about that. A: In 2007, I founded MonicaMotivates, to help inspire women to actually get inside the arena, and stop being spectators of their lives. A lot of times, we want to do great things; we have big dreams; and we have larger-than-life visions for ourselves, but we are not taking time to document our goals and understand fully who we really are— our real life purpose. We must relentlessly remove the “takers” from our lives and replace them with givers. The half-day conference that I produce and host around the country is called “Are You Ready to Get Inside the Arena?” It’s not your typical conference, where women go get excited (just for one day) but there is no post-event accountability. I help attendees get comfortable with their genuine identities, and put together an individual plan of action outlining their life pursuits. Q: What are your thoughts/comments on the gender wage gap that still prevails? Do you believe we will ever achieve parity? A: The problem, from my viewpoint, is two-fold. As a mom of a son, it is important for me to model a successful business woman and being someone who can have honest conversations with him about the treatment of women in organizations. As a mother raising a daughter, it is important for me to visibly advocate for women and girls, and to make sure that we continue to close the gap. This has been an issue since women have joined the workforce and, unfortunately, the data in the last 10 years doesn’t show much improvement. Women are still being paid less for the same job as men. Women have to become better negotiators, communicators and debaters. Also, women must take time to analyze their value on a regular basis. I see women who want the next job or promotion, or who want to be successful with their business, but they are giving away their services for free—not earning any respect as an entrepreneur. They take the time to build a great business, but then turn right around and devalue their products and services. I’ve decided that if I’m having success it’s up to me to reach back and help the next woman. I make it a priority to find ways I can add value for women as a group. Q: Coming up in December you will be talking to a room full of business owners and entrepreneurs about “Cultivating Winning Partnerships.” Give us a little sneak preview. A: I am honored and humbled to be chosen to speak at the 2016 KOSBE Awards. I have had a chance to review the list of past winners, and I am impressed with the variety of business types, sizes and stages of life. Some are already out there doing some of the things that I will be speaking on. Foremost, it is critical for small business owners to understand their brand and the key value that their brand brings to the table in a partnership. What they should not do is misalign their brand in a partnership. Whether they are a sole proprietor looking to bring someone else into the business, or they are outsourcing work, or partnering with other brands, it’s important to know their attributes, values, purpose, strengths and passions better than anyone. Synergy must be part of the total plan. Otherwise, they will go out too early trying to find a strategic partner, and be back at square one before the relationship even begins. To learn more about Monica McCoy and MonicaMotivates™, visit www.monicamotivates.com.