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Winning with Gen Z: Embracing generational diversity for business success

Articles Jul 5, 2023

This piece was originally published in WRAL TechWire.

From the vault: This column on generational diversity and tips in leading Gen Z was really popular with readers earlier this year, analyzing a topic on the minds of the executives and leaders I counsel and coach. In this new era, which I call “High Octane Leadership in an Empathetic World,” the fusion in balancing empathy and economics is at the center of winning in the marketplace and with your stakeholders. None of this matters, though, if you can’t attract and retain the best talent. I’ve made some modifications, but the ideas outlined below are foundational as we build robust culture-centric leaders and organizations.


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – The economic and business challenges of the last several years have proven that future success will be founded on recruiting and retaining talented employees. The results speak for themselves: Teams that communicate better and are more collaborative are the conduit for stronger organizations. Yet, we now have parts or all of five different generations in the American workforce. The potential difficulty in leading these diverse groups is on the mind of executives I counsel and coach.

While each generation provides its own opportunities and challenges when looked at as a whole, many leaders are asking specifically about how to bring Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2012) into the workplace, particularly since they comprise about 10% to 25% of the current workforce.


Donald Thompson

Donald Thompson, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2023 Southeast Award winner, is a globally respected business leader, CEO of The Diversity Movement, CDE, and author of Underestimated.