I have been in the Safety Profession for many years. But when I was new in the profession, I focused more on people meeting my expectations, needs, and wants rather than me meeting their needs and wants. I focused on doing big things and getting ahead of EVERYONE! 

All my initial training and education focused on compliance. I was expected to walk the facility and identify compliance issues and look for people not following company policies. Back in my world, the model of leadership was all top-down. Sometimes I ended successfully, but most times, I was unsuccessful because my thoughts were based on the numbers and bonus. That wasn’t the successful method of being a safety professional.

When I started to research leadership and ultimately became a certified executive coach, trainer, and keynote speaker for the Maxwell Leadership Group, I ended up reading a quote by Zig Ziglar that says this, 

“If you help people get what they want, they will help you.”

He was talking about leaders serving others, which rocked my head! When I kept reading, the term “servant leadership” came up. I did not know what that meant. However, I figured it out as my wife, and I served in the children’s church. We were serving the children to understand the bible and how to live a successful life and help others to succeed. 

So, let’s get into the information about servant leadership. 

What is a Servant Leader?

I believe the best description and definition is how John Maxwell defined what a servant leader is.

A servant leader is someone “whose actions and motivations reflect a selfless commitment to a cause, an organization, or their teammates” (Kouzes & Posner). Compare this to a traditional leader, whose actions and motivations focus more on driving results and growing the organization.

The great thing about true servant leaders is that they also get results and grow the organization. John Maxwell calls it the Law of Addition, from his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership—leaders add value by serving others.

Now my question to anyone reading this blog is this. 

Can a Safety Professional Become a Successful Servant Leader?

Well, my answer is…………………………… YES!

With everything I’ve learned and keep learning about leadership, I have changed how I approach being a safety professional. I focus on building solid relationships with all people within the organization. I began to focus on this quote by John Maxwell.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

John’s quote got me thinking about changing my approach to the leadership group and the hourly workforce.

I began focusing on the hourly workforce because they determined the company’s success. To be successful, I should spend a lot of time on the ground and build relationships with all of them. I tell safety professionals that we should spend at least 70% or more (depending on your role) with the workforce. 

With my career in new roles and jobs, I started focusing on the workforce by spending much time on the floor and learning how they work. I focused on six components to generate my servant-leader mindset.

6 Components of How I Became a Servant Leader within My Safety Profession

To develop yourself as a servant leader, consider these six components to embrace your philosophy. 

  1. I Don’t Rely on My Position or Title: I’m grateful for my accomplishments, but I don’t rely on them to build me as a leader. Instead, I work to earn respect by following up on what people have asked for and by serving others to achieve their success. Leadership is not about a title; it’s about your passion for people.
  2. I Believe in People and Their Potential: As a passionate safety professional, I care about people. That is the right thing to do. But there are also practical reasons for believing in people. The more I support people and help them achieve success, the more I serve them, and the more their potential safe activities increase. That creates a secure win for everyone.
  3. I Try to See Things from the Workers’ Perspective: It’s possible to lead and serve others only when you know their behaviors, minds, and desires. Therefore, I intentionally connect with people and try to see from their point of view to serve them better. This creates a situation of helping solve problems and building more confidence in performing their jobs safely.
  4. I Actively Work to Create an Atmosphere of Encouragement: When you are willing to serve people, a culture of cooperation emerges where it’s “one for all and all for one.” That makes the environment positive and develops a sense of value and trust.
  5. I want to Listen and Take Action to Meet their Expectations: I focus on what they say, need, and desire when interacting with others. Listening is much more complicated than talking. I struggle to listen to people because I know all the answers thoroughly. But I’ve learned that I can succeed when I listen and act. With actions, you will gain respect and trust.
  6. I Determine My Success by How Much Value I Add to Others: When you decide to serve others, the team’s safety and success will become your success. I remember when I changed my approach and thought process. It felt like my world immediately expanded, and I began achieving success through the increased safe behaviors and commitments from the workforce.

I believe this is true—The degree to which you serve as a leader will determine your effectiveness.

I have met many safety leaders who exhaust themselves, day and night, looking for ways to get ahead and make it to the top. And to be clear, I don’t see anything wrong with desiring to progress in your career and achieve more success. However, you will only succeed if you focus on others.

John Maxwell says, “You’ve got to love your people more than your position.” That’s what servanthood is all about—putting the needs of your people before your aspirations.

Considering how you can become a person focused on others and not yourself will build your ability to become a servant leader. I am still consistently building servant leadership by working to serve others specifically on what they need and want. Sometimes I get frustrated and struggle with my want to serve them. However, I learned that being a strong, successful leader requires strong influence through your relationships. 

Please consider the six components and make all the necessary changes or improvements to your character. Ultimately, I want all Safety Professionals to become strong Servant Leaders, and we will succeed in reducing risk and preventing injuries!

“The best place for a leader isn’t always the top position. It isn’t the most prominent or powerful place. Instead, it’s where they can serve the best and add the most value to other people.” – John C. Maxwell.

Denis is an Executive Director for the John Maxwell Group and is a certified leadership coach, trainer, keynote speaker, and DISC Behaviorial Consultant. Denis is a senior safety professional and a strong, passionate influential person. He is committed to teaching and communicating practical and relevant influencing techniques.  His unique, passionate, and emotionally driven style resonates with many, creating a desire to become an effective leader. 

You can contact Denis at for information on coaching, leadership, team and culture training, DISC Behavioral consulting, or to be an inspirational speaker at your next event.


I’ll never forget the story my daughter told me one day. She heard this from a speaker in elementary school when she was a teacher. Although the account is likely invalid, it nevertheless paints a picture of what “attitude” is and its impact on people.

“A man finds himself accidentally locked in a refrigerated boxcar. Unable to get out, he uses a knife to etch words and phrases onto the wooden floor, such as….” It’s so cold, my body is numb,” and “I don’t have much longer….” As the hours go by, the man slowly succumbs to death. The next day, the man’s body is discovered.

His written records indicate death due to hypothermia, but the physical evidence shows that the temperature never dropped below 50 degrees. So if it wasn’t hypothermia that caused his death, then what was i

ATTITUDE, plain and simple. He was going to die, and there were no other options.

This story shows how powerful our attitude can be and how it can dramatically alter the outcome of any situation.

 As safety professionals, a big part of what we do involves behavior change. Whether from behavior observation, one-on-one conversations, investigations, or even training. Throughout my career, I’ve noticed companies focus a lot on numbers. I know many safety professionals spend much time reviewing and evaluating statistical results and KPIs. This is important and relevant information, but why are the numbers where they are? The numbers reflect the total workforce behaviors and commitment based on their attitude!

My experience, observations, and research have shown that a person’s attitude determines their behaviors resulting from their actions.

So, what happens when a person’s attitude interferes with and affects their behavior? Can a person’s attitude be changed? It can be. I have long taught that behaviors can be changed and modified through face-to-face interactions and by engaging the workforce in solving problems through expected communication, providing adequate training, and identifying their responsibility and resulting accountability. However, each person truly does control their attitude. It’s their choice.

Webster’s dictionary defines attitude as; “a feeling or a way of thinking that affects a person’s behavior.” Of course, individuals will bring their thoughts, feelings, and ways of thinking with them. But as Safety Professionals, if we can influence people to perform their tasks safely, we can generate a positive attitude.

If we dissect this definition, we discover that a person’s attitude is “the way of Thinking.” So, if I change their “way of thinking,” I can change their attitude and behaviors. If we change their behavior, then we can reduce risk and potential injuries.


In thinking about the work forces’ attitudes and behaviors, one of the biggest focuses has to be your attitude. Attitude is more important than anything else; it is more important than money than your circumstances, failures, or successes. It is more important than your appearance, talent, or skills. YOUR attitude indicates who you are and results in your RISE AND FALL!

I heard Chuck Swindoll say this,

“Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.”

There is a direct correlation between attitude and behavior. As leaders, our most effective approach to success or failure is our attitude. A person’s behavior is genuinely affected by their attitude. A person’s behavior doesn’t dictate their attitude, but their attitude can dictate their behavior.

As a safety professional, YOUR attitude will determine your success or failure and your workforce’s success, loss, and safety. Winston Churchill said,” Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” In addition, YOUR attitude will reflect the behaviors of YOUR workforce because YOUR attitude is contagious to YOUR workforce!

How does attitude affect your work and the safety of your workforce? The first question to ask yourself is, “What is your attitude today?” We all have days where our overall attitude could improve, but how is yours towards your workforce, your boss, or your commitment to the current expectations? Some of us have constant negative and negative attitudes, and some have mixed attitudes.

YOUR negative attitude will lead to carelessness, complacency, taking shortcuts, or even serving as a distraction from a work task. In addition, a negative attitude towards safety will generate unsafe behaviors. The National Safety Council has identified that over 98% of injuries result from dangerous behaviors. So if you have a negative attitude, you will FALL because of the incidents and injuries within your workforce and assigned areas.


To determine your attitude, consider the answers to these three questions and follow the five steps below to improve YOUR attitude.

  • Do you think your attitude negatively or positively affects your workforce?
  • Think about “why” your employee left with a negative perspective.
  • How can I improve my attitude tomorrow?

Our attitude can even contribute to or detract from our achievements. A positive attitude and an overall sense of optimism are building blocks to RISE for success.


  1. IDENTIFY. Ask yourself your attitude and why it is in that condition.
  2. IT’S IN YOUR HEAD. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can do a thing or you can’t, you’re right.” How we think about ourselves, life, work, or other circumstances can drastically affect our attitude.
  3. THAT IS WHAT I DID. My whole mental and physical world crumbled when my mom and dad died recently. First, I told myself their quick deaths reflected my negative attitude toward people. Then, finally, it hit me. I wasn’t just grieving or upset; I was actively choosing to be negative. I had given up responsibility for my actions and surrendered my freedom to choose my way.
  4. TAKING BACK MY CONTROL. After losing my strong leadership approaches and ultimately losing a favorite job, I realized everything could be taken from us. Still, one thing: the freedom to choose MY attitude in any given circumstance determines my opportunity to RISE AND FALL!
  5. BE CONSTANTLY AWARE. It is essential to do a daily self-check. An excellent way to do this is to monitor your thoughts or conversations with others. If you are having more negative conversations than positive ones, it is a good indicator that you must improve your attitude. It is easy for your attitude to tip towards the negative side as stressors pile back on in your personal and professional life. There will always be issues in your life, but it is essential not to let them negatively affect you and ultimately affect your workforce.


Please take responsibility for your attitude, recognizing that it can change how you live and lead. You manage it daily, cultivating and developing positive actions, thoughts, conversations, and habits. You can make your attitude your greatest asset. It can become the difference maker in your success.

I understand this is much information, and some feel this needs to be more work to focus on. However, this was created due to my attitude failure, which has declined my ability to be a successful leader. I will admit it was hard to think through. But I know this information will support a positive change in your attitude and, ultimately, your leadership success. Just remember the choice of YOUR attitude determines……………. YOUR RISE AND FALL!

Denis is an Executive Director for the John Maxwell Group and is a certified leadership coach, trainer, keynote speaker, and DISC Behaviorial Consultant. Denis is a senior safety professional and a strong, passionate influential person. He is committed to teaching and communicating practical and relevant influencing techniques.  His unique, passionate, and emotionally driven style resonates with many, creating a desire to become an effective leader. 

You can contact Denis at for information on coaching, leadership, team and culture training, DISC Behavioral consulting, or to be an inspirational speaker at your next event.

The 5 Actions I have Seen Ted Lasso Do to Create Strong Leadership

Be careful – there are spoilers ahead if you are watching the series.

My wife gets annoyed when I watch TV shows or movies because I tend to write a lot down and think of ways to manage the content into leadership training or a bit of informative information. For example, one of my favorite TV series shows is Ted Lasso(AppleTV). In watching the show, I have identified many things Ted does or how he acts and reacts to the situation in his crazy job position that influences people.

Probably my biggest hobby is writing about leadership. I focus on things I struggle with or how I see others struggle in their approach to leading others. So I use Ted Lasso as a cheat sheet to develop information on becoming a good leader.

Just an FYI, I am referring to the show names, not real names.

If you’re looking for examples of how leaders behave—or should behave—Ted Lasso is perfect. Here are five actions I have identified where Mr. Lasso and his partners remind us of the way leaders should act:


This is something I sometimes struggle with. In a game of darts, Ted Lasso faces off against his boss’s ex-husband, billionaire Rupert Mannion. Mr. Mannion lost ownership of his beloved soccer club, Richmond AFC, in a divorce settlement with his ex-wife, Rebecca Welton. The billionaire challenges Ted to a game of darts and decides to wager. Here is how it goes, If Mannion wins, he can pick the player lineups for the season’s last two games. If Ted wins, Mannion is banned from the owner’s box, giving Ted’s boss relief from his harassment. While throwing the darts, Ted refers to a Walt Whitman quote, “Be curious, not judgmental.” He did this to explain why curiosity is more effective than closed-minded judgments. Had Mannion asked a question, such as, “Have you played many darts?” he would have learned that Lasso was a Dart ace.


Jamie Tartt, Richmond AFC’s star striker, is on loan to Richmond AFC from another club. Tartt is a ball hog on the field. He refuses to pass to other players, even when they have a better shot. He is a relentless narcissist who bullies and taunts his teammates off the field. Because of his lousy behavior, Ted decides to bench during the first half of an important game. I know you are thinking of the high risk of loss that now exists. However, with their coach’s encouragement, the team adapts and pulls out a win. When team members don’t follow the rules or meet expectations, even if they’re rock-star performers, it’s time for a change. Of course, these moves can result in negative consequences. However, they also result in inv higher employee morale.


Welton hired Ted Lasso, who had no soccer experience. Instead, he coached American football for a small college. She wanted the club to fail and make her ex-husband unhappy. But Ted Lasso’s wisdom, optimism, and commitment to changing everyone he meets softens hearts and wins over many of his critics. Throughout the season, Welton realizes how she has been changed. Finally, she confesses to Ted that she set him up to fail and apologizes. Ted Lasso forgives her, creating a more profound friendship and commitment to improving the team.


Belief is a single word emblazoned on a yellow sign hung with duct tape over the coaches’ office. These words show the power of belief in oneself, the team, belief in ideals, and belief in the team’s goals. Belief doesn’t have to be perfect—it just has to exist.


I’ve noticed in many episodes is that “kindness ” is a potent tool. Good things exist when we are kind and respectful to employees. Even when we need to hold them accountable, we must respect them and influence the change. The brutal soccer legend, Roy Kent, had a great way of influencing others through his commitment and kindness to the team players. Suppose you focus on Lesley Higgins and recognize his commitment to his family and the team. In that case, you will recognize his robust approach to handling different conversations and situations in a kind and effective manner. You should also look at Coach Beard, Lasso’s assistant coach, and watch how he successfully manages the value of wise and steadfast friends.

Denis is an Executive Director for the John Maxwell Group and is a certified leadership coach, trainer, keynote speaker, and DISC Behaviorial Consultant. Denis is a senior safety professional and a strong, passionate influential person. He is committed to teaching and communicating practical and relevant influencing techniques.  His unique, passionate, and emotionally driven style resonates with many, creating a desire to become an effective leader. 

You can contact Denis at for information on coaching, leadership, team and culture training, DISC Behavioral consulting, or to be an inspirational speaker at your next event.


Need Leadership Quotes For Inspiration? We Found All The Best Ones ...

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.


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.


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. 


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


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.

As a Leader, Will You Stand For What You Believe

“If you wouldn’t follow yourself, why should anyone else?”

John C. Maxwell

Will you to take a stand for what you believe?  

Most leaders won’t! 

I have worked with leaders from CEOs down to the lowest and newest leaders within many types of organizations. With this experience, I can honestly say that many are unwilling to stand up for what they believe. Instead, they will sprinkle pleasant words and act in ways that politically skirt around the issues. 

Why people are unwilling to stand for what they believe

In one of my jobs, I remember having a conversation with my CEO and discussing the need for consistently following our new hire requirements regardless of the person’s position. He tended to hire people without going through the full hiring and offer process. He felt he was in a place to do what he wanted when he wanted, and the rules, policies, and procedures did not apply to him.  

I held him accountable because it was the right thing to do. He reprimanded me because the policies and procedures went against his beliefs. 

Most people would have let it go because he is the CEO. Well, my leadership beliefs align with Collin Powell.

” Sometimes being a leader means pissing people off!

Collin Powell

To stand up for what you believe and what is right will sometimes result in making someone mad. But I say you are a strong leader!

Taking a stand hurts

I see this all the time on social media. People scream at those who oppose their beliefs or have different opinions. We see the protests and everything that goes on politically.

I just saw an Instagram post of someone I’m following that was kicked off a flight because of the shirt he was wearing. The male flight attendant said, “he felt threatened” because of the American flag on his hat and the shirt with a bible verse. He stood up for what the believes but paid the price.

People are willing to hurt others to make themselves feel better and have a stronger position. They’re eager to take down people who don’t align with their thoughts and beliefs.

True leaders have to take a stand for what they believe

You have to be willing to be hurt, tell the truth, share their message, and live a life that is true to who they are. Be prepared to be hurt. That’s the only way you can lead.


Your mouth is poison; your mouth is wine.

–The Civil Wars


The words we use can create sparks that can burn down the house. The lyrics from the musical group, “Talking Heads, in their song, “Burning Down the House”, sets the stage for this blog.

My house! Is out of the ordinary

 That’s right! Don’t wanna hurt nobody

 Some things sure can sweep me off my feet

 Burning down the house

Let me break down these lyrics based on our words; 

“My house! Is out of the ordinary.” The atmosphere we create is based on the words we choose.

“We don’t want to hurt anybody.”, Our words can encourage, persuade, defend, or manipulate. They can offend, ruin our relationships, position, or the respect we have with those we lead or influence.

“Some things sure can sweep me off my feet.” Choosing the rights words will determine your effectiveness in influencing  

“Burning down the house.” Chose the wrong words, and watch everything you created, the culture, the relationship, and the influence you had, burn!


In the third chapter of the book of James, he says this:

“Consider when a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue is also a fire.” Verse 7: “All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil full of deadly poison.” (NIV)

James wasn’t saying that speaking or words are evil. The fact is, our words are incredibly crucial for influencing others. Our words are essential for building and strengthening those we interact with, so words are important. But he does give us the warning that words can do a lot of damage.

Sometimes one inappropriate word can wreck a career. It can destroy a reputation. When it’s in bad taste, when it’s unfair or unjust, it can burn down a life. It can burn down a whole culture!

It doesn’t matter that you “didn’t mean it” or that you were “just joking.” Sometimes, words just hurt. And we who use them have a responsibility to do so with an awareness of the impact they may have.

In light of the COVID crisis and the racist issues, I spent time re-evaluating the way I think and the approach I take with others. I realize our words determine our beliefs, and that results in the atmosphere we create.

Here are some things to consider about our words:

  1. THINK. Think about what you want to say before you say it. Ask the question, “What if.”. Careless words create frustration.
  2. NOT POLITICAL. Words are not political. They are about respect
  3. CONTEXT. There are occasions in which certain words are not offensive. However, you must ensure you are clear in your position and communicate the FULL meaning of your thoughts.
  4. CORRECT or INCORRECT. You should know what words you are speaking; choose wisely before opening your mouth or writing that angry email or text.
  5. HABITS MATTER. If I speak differently at home than at work, my words will come out, regardless of where I am and who is accompanying me. They will come out unintentionally.
  6. LAZY WORDS. We will all offend someone at some time. Some more than others. Why? Because we are lazy to think before we speak and we are lazy to change the way we think.

So What Now What

Words are invisible sparks. They build up in our brains, and every time we speak a wrong word, they shoot from our tongue. If we continue to speak the wrong things, we will fuel the fire and “BURN DOWN THE HOUSE!”

Just do this…………………THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK.

6 Safety Leadership Attributes Most Effective in Changing Behaviors

“Its easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”


To become influential safety leaders, we must build strong relationships, respect, and create an atmosphere of trust and value. In my years of growth as a safety professional, I’ve learned how to build genuine relationships with the workforce through trial and error. These relationships resulted in respect and trust. In a recent survey of 50 hourly workforce employees, I asked the following question; 

“what leadership attributes would be most effective in convincing you to consider changing your actions and behaviors.” 

With the responses, I was able to identify six key attributes safety professionals need to exhibit to convince workers to change their actions and behaviors.

  1. Clarity: Communicate the “why” of each expectation and requirement. We must be clear and concise in our expectations and requirements, but to ensure buy-in, you must present why these instructions are critical to the safety of each worker. People want to be “in the know.” They want to know where they are headed and what you expect from them so they can deliver. 
  2. Relationship: Connect with your workers – Many safety professionals are enforcers and don’t focus on connecting and building the relationship. This causes tension and disrespect. Be present with your people. Please don’t leave them wondering who you are. They are looking for you to connect with them and build a working relationship. Learn names. Acknowledge people as you walk around. Recognize that life is going on outside of work. 
  3. Confident humility: Humble yourself and empower your workforce for success – Be competent and confident in your role, but lead with humility. Be decisive when necessary, and illustrate your knowledge by the reality of your decisions. Ask for suggestions and consider all solutions when implementing or changing requirements and expectations. Safety professionals make mistakes often. I know I do!
  4. Encourager: Cheer on your workforce – While walking the work area(s), be on the lookout for those exceeding expectations and give them the recognition they deserve. Let those meeting the minimum requirements know how much you appreciate them following the rules and meeting your expectations. Encourage those doing the right thing to set themselves up to go home the same way they came in. For those not exhibiting safe behaviors, ask them “why,” explain the expectations, and “why,” and encourage them to commit to working safely.
  5. Courage: Challenge your workforce – When problems occur, challenge your workforce to identify solutions. Creativity and innovation drive buy-in, which results in progress and safe performance. Have difficult conversations when necessary, and always get a commitment to do the right thing. People want to know where they stand and where they might need to improve.
  6. Passion: Let your workforce know you care for them – LOVE what you do or LEAVE! Exhibit unlimited energy and enthusiasm for your people, purpose, vision, and the values you embrace. Passion will drive buy-in and respect. It will inspire the workforce to consider doing the right thing. The safety profession is about people. When workers realize their passion is for their safety and not just a job, they will be more prone to do right. Please don’t be shy about your passions; let them shine through, and people will follow.

Exhibit these six attributes, and you will build strong relationships, gain respect, and create an atmosphere of trust and value. Accomplishing this will reduce risks, prevent injuries, and make a difference in others!

You can contact Denis at for information on coaching, leadership, team and culture training, DISC Behavioral consulting, or to be an inspirational speaker at your next event.