Vision – What’s More Important?

In 1998, I was touring a large production facility to get a feel for the operations.  I was about to begin a safety culture assessment because the leaders wanted to more fully understand the perspectives of the entire workforce.  Company leaders also wanted to identify various management and employee perception gaps that were important to the health of their organization. This award winning Fortune 200 Company has been highly regarded for decades largely because of the way it values its workers, and it showed.  As I walked and talked with one of the leaders, it was clear that he had a

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Are You Making These Mistakes With Your Safety Climate Surveys?

In 1980, Dov Zohar addressed various implications of assessing safety climate through a 40-item questionnaire in order to improve safety-related outcomes.  Zohar wrote one of the first scholarly works pertaining to safety climate and I was intrigued.  His work led to more research on my part during a time when there were many heated debates regarding the assessment of broader forms of organizational climate – not safety alone.  Amongst the many arguments, there were questions raised regarding the validity and ethical use of surveys to gather culturally-based information through surveys alone.  Many believed that culture assessments should largely be addressed

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Chuck Noll’s Leadership Legacy

Chuck Noll’s human body was laid to rest today but his legacy lives on forever.  The very recent passing of Chuck Noll, Hall of Fame coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers has stirred the emotions and thoughts of many.  Chuck Noll is the only NFL head coach to win four Super Bowls and may be the greatest NFL head coach of all time.  Charles Henry Noll never received the credit he truly deserved but those closest to him realized his exceptional leadership qualities, almost instantly.    In the local press coverage, former players and those from the Steelers’ front office have

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Where’s Your Deadline Now?

Deadlines and Shutdowns May Define Your Culture for Safety During most of my college summers, I worked heavy construction. In nearly all of those jobs, I experienced scheduling pressures. As a bottom man or laborer, I was placed in physically demanding activities that were dirty and dangerous.  We took lots of chances because we thought our calculated risks were necessary to achieve our short-term goals. Through my summer jobs I gained a great deal of respect for those who work construction and in the trades.  But the push to get it donewas an everyday part of the job, especially in the 1970s.

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From Dubai – Your Standard

I am very fortunate to be able to travel the world through my work.  I just got back from Dubai and had a great trip!  It is so interesting to see other parts of the world and experience different cultures.  In fact, I spoke to a group with participants from every corner of the world, and I do mean every corner.   We did some fun things too, like a desert safari and barbecue – yes that’s me in the photo. Getting to my point, with such a diverse group and varying degrees of risks that are managed in some organizations,

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Do Your Leaders Have Empathy?

I love the reality show Undercover Boss but I have to watch it alone because I often become a little weepy!  I’ve gotten much softer with age.  You probably know what generally happens in each show.  A company executive plants himself in his own organization in order to find out what’s really happening and to make improvements.  He works side-by-side with individuals who perform some of the most difficult, demanding, and dirty jobs in the company.  After a short period of time, the undercover boss gets to know people in very personal ways and also finds out first-hand about their

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Three Critically Important Leadership Traits for Sustainable Safety Excellence

I’ve been fortunate enough to have consulted, coached, and spoken for thousands of leaders across the globe.  And I feel strongly that every leader who is credible, fair, and cares about his workers can push their performance to an entirely new level – particularly if these three traits are used as their primary base of influence.  I also feel that every leader who plays a part in improving safety performance will have to take a least a few leadership characteristics to heart and embrace them in order to achieve ongoing success – especially our operational leaders who are closest to

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Three Critically Important Leadership Traits for Sustainable Safety Excellence

David J. Sarkus, MS, CSP I’ve been fortunate enough to have consulted, coached, and spoken for thousands of leaders across the globe.  And I feel strongly that every leader who is credible, fair, and cares about his workers can push their performance to an entirely new level – particularly if these three traits are used as their primary base of influence.  I also feel that every leader who plays a part in improving safety performance will have to take a least a few leadership characteristics to heart and embrace them in order to achieve ongoing success – especially our operational

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