Just as a head coach should bring a plan to win each game, leaders of organizations should have a plan to win in safety. If you truly seek excellence, it is not enough to simply set a goal to win by so many points, or just show up and rely on the native ability of your players. True leadership involves strategy. How do you play on your strengths? How do you adjust for special challenges? How do you constantly revise your plan based on successes and failures? How do you motivate and direct your players?
So many safety programs lack true strategies and simply rely on good players, traditional plays, and a little cheerleading. Leaders stress safety rather than leading it. They give it lip service and even invest resources in traditional efforts, but they don’t really have a game plan. They fire poor performers and try to hire better ones, but don’t really have a training program to maximize performance. All the symptoms of poor coaching apply to safety leadership. Do you bring a game plan to the table in your organization?
-Terry L. Mathis
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Terry L. Mathis is the founder and CEO of ProAct Safety, an international safety and performance excellence firm. He is known for his dynamic presentations in the fields of behavioral and cultural safety, leadership, and operational performance, and is a regular speaker at ASSE, NSC, and numerous company and industry conferences. EHS Today listed Terry as a Safety Guru in ‘The 50 People Who Most Influenced EHS three consecutive times. He has been a frequent contributor to industry magazines for over 15 years and is the coauthor of STEPS to Safety Culture Excellence (2013, WILEY).