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  • Writer's pictureSavannah Coady, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Advice From Industry Leaders

In the three years I've been a member of the National Millennial and Gen Z (NMGZ) Community, I’ve spoken with multiple leaders in the communication industry, including leaders from USA Gymnastics, Meta, Disney, Warner Bros, Coca-Cola, Porter Novelli, and many more.

They were kind enough to give the community insight into their personal and professional journeys and offer advice as we emerge as new leaders. While each individual we have spoken with has traveled a unique path, I have found some commonalities in their stories that I believe are key to unlocking our potential.

  1. Be Curious. I have heard dozens of leaders advise others, "always ask the question, why? in your mind." Curiosity leads to diversity of thought and shows passion. Those who are curious are the ones that develop into change agents and drive progress and innovation.

  2. Say Yes to Opportunity. When you have the opportunity to experience something brand-new, it changes you. Staying stagnant is the most effective way to hinder your growth. So, apply for that job, take the trip, meet new people, grow your network, and watch as you evolve.

  3. Your Circle Matters. No one has ever been successful 100% alone. Your network, team members, friends, and family play a role to some degree in who you are and who you will become. Keep those who motivate you close to you, and let go of those who bring you down.

  4. Success Isn’t Always Linear. It’s usually full of ups and downs, and that is okay! Life is all about learning. If you find yourself unhappy, seek change, even if it’s uncomfortable. Taking a few steps back can prepare you to launch forward in the future.

  5. Give Grace. We are all discovering ourselves and our place in the world. Mistakes are temporary and inevitable, so give yourself and others grace as you navigate new spaces.

The most impactful message I’ve learned through the NMGZ Community is that our perceptions of the world are created from our lived experiences. Communicating and being open to one another is the most powerful way to make a difference. Take the opportunity to understand others and use that perspective to drive change.


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