Your Spring Cleaning – Are You Behind?

When I was a young boy, I marveled at the time and effort my mother put into her annual spring-cleaning. Mom planned a great deal – shopping for her supplies early to make sure that she never had to start and stop once she got moving. And mom was really focused on every detail of cleaning the windows, walls, floors, and all of the furniture. Mom also kept track of her cleaning materials, year-to year, so she knew what worked best. Yes, that meant materials and tools that made her work a bit easier, more effective, and efficient. Mom always

Read more

Your Sphere of Influence

I like Subway and a few times a month I eat there.   But there’s one location I no longer visit.  Here’s why.  There’s a young worker who is impolite, very impersonal, and at times, just downright mean and nasty.  She certainly takes the “customer” out of “customer service.”  I stopped going there because it’s a negative experience and I have alternatives. I often tell people that you never know who you might meet that can help you.  Any chance encounter could change your life.  It may develop into a new job offer or a career change that takes your life

Read more

Are Your Millennial Employees Ready to Lead?

Jan Ferri-Reed, Ph.D. It was only a matter of time! The Millennial generation has been pouring into the workforce since the late 1990s and increasingly they’re being promoted to supervisory and management positions. That’s right where we need the most day-to-day safety leadership and support.  And by 2014 fully 36% of the US workforce will be composed of Millennials.  By 2020 approximately 46% of all workers will be Millennials. This means that Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and to a lesser extent the Mature generation, will come under the direction of Generation Y supervisors before long, if they haven’t already. If

Read more

Mental Toughness – Are Your Developing Yours?

Everything hasn’t always been rosy in my safety career, just as things haven’t been in yours.  At times there were difficult conflicts, personal attacks, layoffs, and political battles that tested my resolve. I never gave up — my sports background and upbringing didn’t allow for it.  That’s where mental toughness comes into play. Mental toughness is about getting knocked down and getting back up with greater resolve, focus, and energy.  But it takes a certain mental fortitude not to cave in to self-defeating thoughts that tell us to “quit” or “take another career path.”  It’s about not giving in to

Read more

Collaboration or Cooperation – Which Would You Choose?

We all know that high performing cultures for safety rely heavily on engagement, collaboration, and cooperation.  But if you could choose only one, which would it be, collaboration or cooperation?  If you had to improve safety performance over the next 12-months, would you rather have a large degree of collaboration or cooperation? Collaboration often requires working together to solve common problems or to complete a given task.  There may be specific roles, goals, or milestones to reach.  There may be particular skills and team synergies that have to be utilized for more efficient and effective outcomes.  And with collaboration, a

Read more

You Don’t Need to Be Superman!

You don’t have to be Superman to be a great safety leader.  But let’s face it, some leaders bring out the best in people and others bring out the very worst.  We need to make choices every day regarding the kind of leader we are going to be, especially for those who are following.  On our worst days, we bring about anxiety, fear, and a loss of focus.  Sometimes we are unapproachable, confrontational, and don’t care to listen to the concerns of others.  At times, we can be detached and withdrawn.  Not the kind of leader others want to be

Read more

Your Vision for Safety and Closing the Gaps?

“The first step toward creating an improved future is developing the ability to envision it. VISION will ignite the fire of passion that fuels our commitment to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to achieve excellence. Only VISION allows us to transform dreams of greatness into the reality of achievement through human action. VISION has no boundaries and knows no limits…”  ― Tony Dungy, Former Head Coach, Super Bowl Winning Coach and Player, Indianapolis Colts / Pittsburgh Steelers You and I know that having a vision for safety begins in your mind’s eye and is critical to taking safety performance to an

Read more

The Golden Goose Egg – Is It Worth the Chase?

There are various schools of thought when it comes to the golden goose egg of EHS performance.   Maybe you’ve been talking about zero lost-time or zero-recordable incidents.  Possibly, you’ve been discussing zero harm, zero waste or zero spills.   Even more, if we could get enough zeros on the left side of the decimal point in our personal bank accounts – we’d be wealthy.  But let’s be open and honest.  Zero recordable and lost-time incidents are possible, and are being achieved across the globe, in greater numbers than ever before.  However, does the push for zero increase cover-ups and inhibit necessary

Read more

Les Miserables, Your Leadership, Your Culture for Safety

Have you seen the movie version of Les Miserables?  I’m not crazy about musicals but I loved this one!  In fact, I encourage you to get to the movies, buy a supersized popcorn, bed wetter sized soft drink, and enjoy!  Like me, you might make it through the entire movie without incident! Well, there’s a great plot within this wonderful show.  Jean ValJean is the star, played by Hugh Jackman.  Valjean was arrested for a minor offense and is imprisoned for nearly 20 years of hard labor.  Shortly after his release, Valjean again finds trouble but soon discoveries forgiveness and

Read more

Safety Success is Scary

Did you watch Monday night’s post-game interview with Nick Saban, head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide?  Nick certainly doesn’t rest on his laurels.  He knows that enjoying success for too long is dangerous, especially in the high stakes game of college football. When asked if he will enjoy the victory, his response was something like, “we’ll give ourselves 48 hours to enjoy it.”   I’m sure that much of his audience was thinking, “all the hard work of your staff, players, coaches, and you’re only going to enjoy it for 48 hours?!”   I knew coach Saban as a young, driven

Read more