Women of Influence: Brittany Cole, Career Thrivers and Nashville Entrepreneur Center

Get to know 2022 Women of Influence winner Brittany Cole, CEO of Career Thrivers and chief equity and inclusion officer at Nashville Entrepreneur Center.

Women of Influence: Brittany Cole, Career Thrivers and Nashville Entrepreneur Center

As CEO, Brittany Cole sets the vision and makes executive decisions for leadership development firm Career Thrivers. In June, Cole was named as the Nashville Entrepreneur Center's first-ever chief equity and inclusion officer, where she is spearheading internal strategy to further accelerate inclusion and equity strategies across the EC and for enhancing its Twende' program.

If you could change one thing about Nashville, what would it be and why? As a native of Nashville that is excited about the growth of our city, I'd like to see a more equitable distribution of the wealth that's coming to Nashville. If I could change one thing it would be adding inclusion and equity priorities and metrics to the incentive packages of corporations moving to Nashville for more inclusive economic development to include goals for workforce, supplier diversity, education and affordable housing. Every taxpayer-funded incentive package needs to be designed from an inclusion and equity lens from the start.

What's the best business or life lesson you've learned? The business and life lesson that's always in the back of my mind is a saying my older brothers and I heard all the time growing up from my dad: 'The biggest room in our house is the room for improvement.' This lesson keeps me grounded and focused on a growth mindset for continuous improvement.

What mistake do young professionals make, and how would you advise them to avoid it? As a young professional, I spent too much time listening outward instead of listening inward. I share with young professionals (and remind myself) there's power in trusting your instincts. Get wise counsel and be thoughtful about your decisions, but at the end of the day, own your career. With the world at our fingertips, it's easy to stay stuck in analysis paralysis, listening to what everyone else thinks you should do next. Own your power and trust yourself to make a decision, learn as you go, and improve along the way. No action, no traction.

What's the newest skill you've learned, and which have you given up on improving? Time blocking is a new skill I've learned and put into practice, thanks to Marcus Whitney. It's been a game changer for better work/life synergy. I've given up on managing my own email inbox and am in the process of hiring an [executive assistant].

How do you reset when you feel overwhelmed? I take a quarterly trip away to reset and rest, recharge, think and get to know a new place. In between my trips, I'm practicing saying no to good opportunities for aligned opportunities so I'm not overwhelmed. There are some good things I will miss out on and that's ok. The book 'Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less,' by Gregg McKeown has helped me with this.

What didn't we ask you that we should have, and how would you answer it? How do you envision using your influence to make Nashville a better place within the next decade? One of my dreams is to grow Career Thrivers to have a Leadership Development Center in Nashville, TN that equips people worldwide to thrive as leaders. We will provide classes, coaching, retreats, and training for companies and business leaders. Our mission at Career Thrivers is to provide targeted leadership development curriculum, programs, and strategy that enhances equity within companies and our community.

My cure for imposter syndrome: I practice taking my thoughts captive and replacing doubt and fear with the truth. I've learned not to give energy to thinking of myself in those ways. Making this a practical habit has helped me to be aware of and replace any thoughts that oppose what I believe to be true about myself.

Biggest challenge no one is talking about: The impact of misinformation on our economy and policies is a huge challenge that I don't believe we spend enough time unpacking. … I'd like to see big tech companies own the responsibility of vetting or flagging the information they allow to be shared on their platforms.

About Cole

Category: Entrepreneur

Titles: CEO, chief equity and inclusion officer

Companies: Career Thrivers, Nashville Entrepreneur Center

Social: URL, URL

Email: EMAIL