JESSIE KAUR LEHAIL – DON’T BE AFRAID TO TAKE RISKS

Jessie Kaur Lehail, founder of Kaur Collective, and a member of the Board of Directors for Fraser Health, was born and raised in Kamloops, BC. Her parents set the tone to work hard, remain humble, and do good. They encouraged their children to speak up against injustice, value education, and do their best with every opportunity that comes their way.

BY J.M.LEE

“Women should be curious about everything. Ask questions and do not fear failure. Remember who you are, and do not compromise your values. Be open to working hard and dreaming big.”

Jessie Kaur Lehail, founder of Kaur Collective, and a member of the Board of Directors for Fraser Health, was born and raised in Kamloops, BC. Her parents set the tone to work hard, remain humble, and do good. They encouraged their children to speak up against injustice, value education, and do their best with every opportunity that comes their way.

“Their guidance and the values espoused by Sikhi have been central to my leadership roles,” Jessie discloses. “Beyond that, I take measured risks, think outside of the box, and am willing to create new solutions when I cannot find alignment with something already in existence.”

Jessie’s parents are her biggest inspiration. They immigrated to Canada to ensure their children would have more opportunities. They worked hard to create stability and a loving home, and they were adamant about their children pursuing higher education. They modelled how to live a humble life focused on faith, family, and helping others. Both of them to this day, ask if Jessie did her prayers and if she regularly connects with Waheguru.

“My parents taught me the values of listening/observing, asking questions, and doing more than expected,” says Jessie. “Don’t be afraid to take risks. Of course, some opportunities are more accessible to grasp than others. Early in my career, I was self-conscious about pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and I learned that I should constantly try to push myself, especially when I feel the most comfortable. It can sometimes be a gamble but it certainly paid off in my experience.”

Jessie also believes in setting expectations right away along with building trust, remaining curious, and celebrating achievements. “Finding my voice has been a journey, but it came with ease as I grew more vital in aligning with my purpose(s) and faith. Prioritizing this in my life has had dramatic shifts, and it prepared me to focus on lifelong learning. Embracing measured risk willingly has also helped.”

She motivates people to give women credit for the work they do. “Please encourage women to take stretch assignments and coach them when they think they are not qualified for new opportunities. Mentorship and sponsorship are critical drivers of success, help women find individuals with influence.”

Jessie believes that being open, available, and visible are important ways to set the tone. It is vital to meet people where they are in their journey and give them the tools to find internal and external space for themselves. “Be curious about everything,” she asserts. “Ask questions and do not fear failure. Remember who you are, and do not compromise your values. Be open to working hard and dreaming big. Leaders must create brave spaces that embrace diverse perspectives. When different opinions exist, leaders need to use a variety of ways for all voices to be heard.”

Celebrating Mother’s Day, Jessie expresses her deepest gratitude to her mother. “My mother taught me to be strong and resilient. As a detailed person with high standards, she drove home the lesson to never do things halfway and complete tasks in the best way possible. I take this advice seriously. Gifted in many ways, my mom’s ability to transform simple ingredients into delicious meals is at the top of the list. I am lucky because her love of food, cooking, and sharing meals has passed on to me.”

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