We caught up with Jonathan Jordan (senior vice president, Corporate & Public Affairs, Los Angeles) to discuss his favorite projects at Edelman and how he helps clients keep up with the pace of change.
How do you describe what you do for a living to your family and friends?
My job title wasn’t always self-explanatory, so now I say that I’m a doctor for companies. When an organization is experiencing some symptoms, I observe the symptoms and make a diagnosis and prognosis. Sometimes I help them to take their medicine.
What has been your favorite project you’ve worked on at Edelman?
During a merger for a Fortune 500 company, I had the opportunity to create a new organizational purpose and values for the newly combined company. The C-suite truly cared about the voice of their people, so we led 50 employee focus groups with over 400 employees across four continents to ensure we deeply understood the cultural attributes necessary for success. We then activated the purpose and values to drive a unified culture.
What are the characteristics of the best manager you’ve ever had? What made him or her great?
I had a manager who told me that “success is in the ad hoc.” By this she meant we all get paid to do a job and shouldn’t expect a pat on the back or lavish praise for doing the job we were hired to do. Rather, each of us has the potential to bring extra value to the table. Through her daily example, she taught me how to leverage my strengths to go above and beyond.
What makes your line of work effective and impactful?
Today, many industries are experiencing disruption and companies are transforming themselves to keep up with the pace of change. Transformation and change can be scary for most stakeholders, especially employees. The work that I do allows change to happen with stakeholders instead of to them. Our team takes business jargon-heavy strategy and clearly defines what the change means for stakeholders. Then we activate culture, purpose and values to deliver on that strategy. We enable stakeholders across an organization to march to the beat of the same drum.
What is your biggest achievement to date - personal or professional?
My biggest personal achievement is being a father to my two daughters Eden and Ezra. I’m officially adulting…sorta. Professionally, in 2010 I co-founded a scrappy marketing company that specialized in small business growth.
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life by Shawn Achor.
Advice for your 25-year-old self?
Trust your gut. It’s ok to say “no.” Buy shares in FAANG.
Inside Edelman is an ongoing series that spotlights our colleagues who are doing extraordinary work across our network.
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