Growing up in a predominantly White community, Lee Jourdan knows that an inclusive and psychologically safe space is needed for people of color to reach their full potential at work. Lee graduated with a degree in National Security and Foreign Affairs from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He was former Chief Diversity Officer, Global Diversity at Chevron Corporation, where he works to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion for all people in the workplace. Lee is currently an independent board director of PROS Holdings, a provider of AI-solutions, where he serves on the Leadership and Compensation committee. Lee also co-authored From Shoeshine to Star Wars, a book chronicling his father’s life and Black leadership.
This episode will touch on the state of mental health of those who served in the military and how Lee Jourdan used his leadership role as chief diversity inclusion executive to increase the representation of women, Black, and more minorities in the workplace.
On being a leader from a young age.
[00:02:48] “I continued to be in leadership positions not because I wanted to be a “leader”. I always felt like if there was something that needed to be done, someone kind of needed to start doing it. And as I think through my life, I’ve had occasion to do that from time to time.”
How can organizational leaders create an inclusive workspace with psychological safety aspects?
[00:30:09] “I created an acronym, F.L.A.V. It stands for feedback, listening, authenticity, and vulnerability, which are the four things I think you need to create that psychologically safe space. As a leader, if you are providing feedback, both constructive and reinforcing, if you’re providing that active listening, people know that you’re really hearing what they’re saying, that you’re valuing what they’re saying.”
On promoting mental health to communities of color
[00:43:40] “I think the most important thing we can do across the board and particularly in communities of color, is to understand each other better, to do our homework, to do some reading, to pick up a book and just understand other people’s perspectives.”
Advice for people pursuing their goals.
[00:50:10] “I’ve found so many times throughout my career, I would just say yes to things I wasn’t 100% sure that I could do. I would step outside my comfort zone, and those turned out to be the best opportunities that I ever had so I continued to do that. What I’ll tell you is that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. So, step out of that comfort zone and do those things.”