Making A Difference

Turning Millennials into Leaders

Garrett Gravesen (PLDA 20, 2015)

Garrett Gravesen (PLDA 20, 2015) is a leadership coach and cofounder of ADDO Worldwide, a brand and experience consultancy based in Atlanta, Georgia. In this video, he talks about working with Chick-fil-A to develop its Leader Academy, which aims to turn millennials into servant leaders.

“I run a company in Atlanta, Georgia called ADDO. It’s a leadership consulting firm. We partnered with Chick-fil-A to create one of the nation’s largest programs, called Chick-fil-A Leader Academy, which teaches next-generation leaders how to become servant leaders.

“A lot of companies are really wondering ‘how do we connect with millennials?’ There’s this great divide between management and millennials, and [understanding] what do millennials want, and how do they want to train, or how do we develop them as leaders. With ADDO, when we talk about connecting management and millennials, and teaching them what the next generation of leadership is going to be about, we try to make it relevant and cultural and we say that there’s a three-part approach to connecting with millennials. First, you’ve got to engage them where they are; then, you’ve got to expose them to things that are relevant to them; and then, you want to equip them with the tools and techniques necessary to become great leaders.

“I think some of the core lessons of leadership are vision and values, or communication and teamwork, or innovation and pushing yourself to think differently. It’s bringing all those things together alongside a team and asking that one simple question: ‘What can I do to help?’

“My career path that got me to become a leadership coach is, I took a year and moved to Africa and volunteered in an AIDS orphanage. And I absolutely loved it. I spent one year with kids in Nairobi, Kenya, which led me to create an NGO for kids around the world with HIV and AIDS [to improve] their quality of life, which led me to teaching back in Africa with students focusing on service and leadership.

“I said, ‘I’ve been given this platform and this opportunity to learn and to serve and to be with young people and millennials, so how can I help companies do that and engage those same lessons around leadership and service for their employees at the corporate level?’ So now I get a chance to work with companies and corporations to connect management and millennials around leadership and service and making communities better.”

(Published January 2017)