UGA alumnus Scott Colosi (BBA '86) used his career experience to advise students on life after college graduation.
“I’m still learning, and I’m learning a lot,” Colosi said about his career. “Development ends at death. You never stop learning.”
President and chief financial officer of Texas Roadhouse, Colosi spoke Feb. 9 as part of the Terry Leadership Speaker Series. The talk also was designated a Spring 2018 Signature Lecture.
Colosi graduated from UGA in 1986 with a bachelor’s finance. He has more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry. Before serving as Texas Roadhouse’s president and CFO, he was the director of investor relations for YUM! Brands Inc., which owns KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands.
Colosi talked about the importance of purpose and knowing why you do what you do. Texas Roadhouse’s purpose is to make its guests and employees feel special. The company’s mission statement is “Legendary Food, Legendary Service,” and its core values are passion, partnership, integrity and fun.
Colosi, who also spoke about the importance of great leadership, said he believes great leaders serve and honor others.
“As a leader, you have to look in the mirror first to determine how you can become a better leader,” he said. “Texas Roadhouse respects service, and the company does its own fundraisers and participates in charitable work.”
At conference locations, Texas Roadhouse employees serve the local community.
“Wherever we go, we want to leave the place a little better when we’ve left it,” Colosi said.
In 1993, Colosi and his family moved from Miami to Wichita, Kansas. He moved for opportunity and learning, and sometimes, he became frustrated when he wasn’t promoted. Looking back, Colosi said, he realizes how much he was learning, and he advised the students to look at every job as a learning opportunity.
“It is a marathon, not a sprint,” he said. “Sometimes we’re in such a rush to get somewhere that we forget where we’re going. If you do the right things, good things will happen. Sometimes, it may take longer than you think.”
Colosi advised students to persevere and keep learning.
“Treat others the way you want to be treated, and actively listen to people when talking to them,” he said. “Try and be someone who always lifts people up rather than tearing them down.”
Colosi told the students, “Don’t be afraid to ask. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Making mistakes is the best way to learn.