For every organization that employs people, the safety of the people is a critical part of organizational success.
Safety methods must be fully integrated into the entire organization, from finance down to daily operations. This ensures safety is always being considered regardless of the conversation being had or activities being considered.
Being a leader in the current year has undoubtedly put a magnifying glass on this truth. With the number of job losses, the reduction of budgets, and the need to think differently, we have fallen into an unprecedented challenge for the safety of our people. However, we must realize that without workers, companies can’t succeed. So the need to ensure the safety of our workforce is critical.
In our efforts to ensure people’s safety, leaders must be effective influencers to establish or change expected behaviors. To be an effective influencer, leaders need to know what markers are critical to their success.
What kind of safety leader does your company need? The answer to this question is; All leaders are safety leaders.
To send you in the right direction, I have identified four crucial markers of an effective safety leader.
BE PASSIONATE AND HAVE COMPELLING PURPOSE
Passionate leaders are fully engaged and committed to supporting the safety of their people. When you’re in the presence of a passionate leader, your senses become stimulated, and your emotions are increased as you pick up their positive, contagious attitude and energy. People who work for passionate leaders tend to exhibit very safe behaviors.
If you are not passionate about what you believe, what you do or the safety of your people, THEN DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU ON THE WAY OUT!
However, as a passionate leader, you need a vision that drives people forward. Realize that everything you do matters! Great lives are produced when they’re committed to a great cause—and the most significant purpose is the safety and success of people.
BE CLEAR IN YOUR PERCEPTION
There are two types of thoughts: those who view the glass half-full, and those who see the glass as half-empty. This is called perception, and our perceptions profoundly impact how we view things. After all, our perception determines our reality. “Perception molds, shapes, and influences our experience of reality,” says Linda Humphreys, Ph.D.
In other words, we believe what we perceive, and we create our realities based on those perceptions.
“You must see past your perception to visualize the reality that is coming.” –Denis Baker, CSP
Anytime you attempt something, especially change, trouble and resistance will come your way.
BE CONSISTENCY IN YOUR APPROACH
The term “consistency” is not referring o all leaders are the same. It merely means that whatever style, management techniques, or leadership traits you exhibit, you must implement them consistently. A leader must be predictable, as consistency and predictability are positive traits that provide respect and ultimately allows the influence of others. In most work environments, especially now, leaders are faced with a whirlwind of change, and the leader must provide stability in their leadership.
Inconsistent leaders sometimes require a lot of detail, and on other occasions, need little detail. Sometimes they want you to seek their approval, then later question why you brought the same approval request. That causes a lack of respect and decreases your influence.
The bottom line is that people working for inconsistent leaders often spend unnecessary time wondering how to proceed or harboring resentment because they cannot predict what the leader wants. This substantially slows down the organization’s and reduces its effectiveness.
“The lack of consistency results in the lack of safe behaviors, which results in more injuries.” –Denis Baker, CSP
BE COURAGEOUS AND PERSISTENT
To tackle change, you can’t give up. You must keep doing what you feel is right, no matter what happens. Just because you show courage during difficult times doesn’t mean you’re not afraid. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is moving ahead despite your fear.
Persistence is one of the critical markers of an effective leader. To gain persistence requires determination and a mindset that — no matter what happens — you will stick to your principles. Persistence is equivalent to running a marathon. The time you spend training and preparing, and what you do leading up to the race will determine how well you perform. To effectively influence others, you have to work hard and continually find ways to motivate, build respect, and consistently stand your ground.
You became a leader for a reason; success in leadership comes from developing and perfecting courageous persistence.
People’s safety rises and falls on your leadership.