Qualities of a Great Safety Leader
There is no simple answer to what it takes to become a great safety leader. But whether you're a natural born leader or whether, like most of us, you're simply working hard every day to become the best leader you can - there are a qualities that I believe are learned skills. By learning and developing these qualities, it will help with your journey towards being a 'great safety leader'.
Understand the Work
Leaders that are closer to the work can make quicker and more informed decisions based on data, research, best practices, and their proximity to the workforce and the customers.
Engage Your Team
By joining your teams in the trenches, you'll not only stay grounded in the realities of the business, but you'll also to inspire them to unleash their passions and talents around a shared vision.
By being able to influence others without having direct authority is extremely important. Positive influence sparks motivation and engagement and your workforce with your abilities to influence.
Leaders create success at all levels by incubating and incentivising creativity and innovation. They do this by supporting experimentation and learning, including giving the workforce permission to fail.
Ensuring that at every opportunity, you as a leader demonstrate strong communication fosters alignment on activities, resources, and priorities. It promotes the sharing of results, insights, and best practices across the organization.
Challenge The Status Quo
Problem-solving shouldn't be a one-off, but rather a continuous activity. Leaders should challenge the status quo. Don't approach problems linearly, but rather more expansively to realize a greater impact. The goal of challenging the status quo is performance improvement, not change for change's sake.
With the workforce, transparency builds strong relationships, creates authenticity, engenders trust, and drives higher levels of performance.
Adaptable leaders must develop the ability to deal with unpredictable and changing situations with dexterity and confidence, and to so with strong interpersonal and cross-cultural skills.
Leaders who exude empathy and are able to actively listen to their workforce with humility, will ultimately boost staff performance and morale.
Always Demonstrate Continuous Learning
Leaders must realise that they are seen as the head of an organization, and they must be seen to be continuously acquiring new knowledge, seeking out best practices, sharpening their skills, and gaining fresh perspectives.