Core Leadership Skills For The SHE Professional


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As SH&E professionals move to become more integrated into the business environment it is even more crucial that the pure technical disciplines typically associated with the profession are complimented by a strong set of relevant leadership and business skills. In this presentation we will examine the various traits and core attributes that need to be displayed by the SH&E Professional not only to provide clear direction within their area of influence but also to gain credibility, and achieve alignment, with the rest of the organization.

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Core Leadership Skills For The SHE Professional

  1. 1. Objectives  At the end of this session the participants should have an understanding of;  The overarching role of “communication” in Leadership  What Leadership is, and is not  Core business drivers & the benefits of business alignment  The application of 5 key leadership attributes in SHE
  2. 2. “We must become the change we want to see” - Mahatma Gandhi
  3. 3. Communication  Effective Leaders are effective communicators  They align themselves with a cause  They display a consistent set of values  They speak to those values  Consistency inspires trust and belief  Ask the ad men!!!
  4. 4. Communication  Influence  Understand you area of influence  Are you in the right position to affect major change or simply change the environment in which you work?  Work within your area to gain an understanding of effective leadership strategies
  5. 5. Leadership
  6. 6. What is Leadership?  The “process of social influence in which one person is able to enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”  Commitment  Chemers, M. M. (2002). Cognitive, social, and emotional intelligence of transformational leadership: Efficacy and Effectiveness. In R. E. Riggio, S. E. Murphy, F. J. Pirozzolo (Eds.), Multiple Intelligences and Leadership.}
  7. 7. Leaders?
  8. 8. Born Leaders?  Good leaders are made not born!  Good leaders develop and demonstrate their leadership ability through a never ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience.  They transfer knowledge and enable others  In fact, Leadership is not just for Leaders anymore
  9. 9. Leadership vs. Management  Managers are people who do things right, while leaders are people who do the right thing. - Warren Bennis, Ph.D. "On Becoming a Leader” (1989)  Leaders are inspiring visionaries, concerned about substance; while managers are planners who have concerns with process.  When managers seek activity with people, they maintain a low level of emotional involvement  Leadership differs in that it makes the followers want to achieve high goals, rather than simply bossing people around.
  10. 10. Leadership vs. Management  Managers administer, leaders innovate  Managers ask how and when, leaders ask what and why  Managers focus on systems, leaders focus on people  Managers do things right, leaders do the right things  Managers maintain, leaders develop  Managers rely on control, leaders inspire trust  Managers accept the status-quo, leaders challenge the status-quo  Managers imitate, leaders originate  Managers emulate the classic good soldier, leaders are their own person
  11. 11. The Role of Business Alignment in Effective SHE Leadership
  12. 12. Business Drivers  Regulatory  ...because we have to  Financial  ...because we can make/save money  Moral  ...because it is simply the right thing to do  What drives your business…?
  13. 13. Business Alignment  ASSE CoPA recent study to understand how SHE Professionals are viewed within the business  Business & Strategy Needs  Plan & React Strategically  …integrate safety performance into business productivity  Align with overall business strategy  Understand financially related terms…  Evaluate investments against their projected payoff
  14. 14. Business Alignment  Typical Corporate Goals  Increase stakeholder value  Top line/profit/cost savings  Typical SHE Goals  Reduce Frequency/Severity rates  Minimize violations/fines  Are your goals aligned with the business direction?
  15. 15. 5 Core Leadership Skills
  16. 16. An opening word from General Colin Powell…  Lesson 1 in Leadership – “Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off”  Good leadership involves responsibility to the welfare of the group, which means that some people will get angry at your actions and decisions. It's inevitable, if you're honorable. Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity: you'll avoid the tough decisions, you'll avoid confronting the people who need to be confronted, and you'll avoid offering differential rewards based on differential performance because some people might get upset. Ironically, by procrastinating on the difficult choices, by trying not to get anyone mad, and by treating everyone equally "nicely" regardless of their contributions, you'll simply ensure that the only people you'll windup angering are the most creative and productive people in the organization
  17. 17. Leadership Attributes  LOYALTY- the act of binding yourself (intellectually or emotionally) to a course of action.  We want people to be aligned with corporate objectives and loyal to the company’s overall philosophy. Priorities change, values do not.  Employees soon realize if we are not being genuine when we talk about “safety is our number one priority”. Often they only need to look at their working environment to determine whether such statements are factual.  We need to create an environment where people are not afraid to speak up and challenge the status quo if they believe it is in the best interest of the company.
  18. 18. Leadership Attributes  COURAGE- there is many types of courage. It can be divided into two categories; physical courage and moral courage.  Our immediate thought relates to physical courage, however for safety leaders moral courage is far more important.  Moral courage is doing what is considered to be right. Instead of physical harm one may face potential consequences of isolation or retribution based on the circumstances and actions taken.
  19. 19. Leadership Attributes  DECISIVENESS - having the ability to make decisions quickly, firmly, and clearly taking into account all (current) facts bearing on the situation.  Safety leaders cannot afford to be irresolute, as not having the ability the make quick decisions can often lead to potentially disastrous consequences.
  20. 20. Leadership Attributes  CREDIBILITY- if there is one defining characteristic of leaders who are effective over long periods of time; it's that they behave in ways that cause people to see them as credible.  That means that they are believed, and trusted, both in the specifics of what they say, and generally, as people.
  21. 21. Leadership Attributes  EMPATHY- the ability to identify and understand another’s situation, feelings and motives. It’s our capacity to recognize the concerns other people have.  Empathy means: “putting yourself in the other person’s shoes” or “seeing things through someone else’s eyes”.
  22. 22. Evaluate your Leadership Qualities  What is important to me? What are my values, beliefs and ethics?  How am I demonstrating those values, beliefs and ethics every day?  Is the larger organization designed to support my values, beliefs and ethics?  What are the disconnects within my immediate organization and for me with the larger enterprise?  What can I do to change how I behave with my immediate organization to demonstrate my belief in them?  What additional assistance do those that I work with need to succeed and how can I ensure that they get everything they need to create personal and organizational safety success?
  23. 23. Summary  SHE leaders that are successful practice (and reinforce) basic principles to ensure their ability to inspire trust, loyalty and commitment among team members.  Credible leadership comes from competence (what you do), character (who you are), and connection (your relationship with followers).
  24. 24. A closing word from General Colin Powell… “Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than the science of management says is possible.”