June 30, 2020
Josh Hannaberry, CNTL, AMTA Regional Chair, Calgary
Thank you for the opportunity to lead the safety moment today.
I consider myself fortunate to be able to share, and I am grateful for your time.
I encourage you to take a moment, and think about what took place in your personal or professional life, that had you think, “I want to be in a position to influence others”.
Additionally, in that thought, think about what event or events took place that had you think, “I want to be in a position to influence the safety of others”.
Maybe the event(s) that took place were positive; an empathic leader at your organization really bought into a living safety culture or a good safety practice saved you or someone that you know from a potential injury.
Maybe the event(s) that took place were negative; a life altering injury due to unsafe conditions or an abusive “organization leader” treated you in a way, that left you believing that you could lead with a much better approach.
Regardless of the events that took place, right now, we are here, a group of professionals with a like-minded focus to improve the overall safety of our industry, our organizations and those we lead.
Additionally, we are professionals faced with unusual adversity, known as COVID-19.
The expectation for optimum performance still exists, while we navigate uncharted waters due to the current pandemic. Being honest, this may be one of the most challenging seasons of our industry.
With all of the buzz happening around us, we may be experiencing additional stress… stress that may fog our vision and could potentially rattle our focus.
Maybe you have been faced with a recent challenge, and the easier solution was to just simply overlook a team member’s actions, instead of handling the situation a little more thoroughly?
Maybe your usual calm, cool, collected persona has shifted to a short and not so sweet leader that is creating additional stress on yourself and others?
If our responses shift, how will this impact the overall safety mindset of our teams?
Will our mechanics rush repairs due to the service manager yelling instead of mentoring?
Will our drivers complete thorough inspections, knowing the site location they are going to has long lineups due to only one driver being able to enter the receiving office at a time?
With the added stress, it is extremely important that we, as leaders, keep a clear focus, to ensure ourselves and others continue to work safe.
How can we accomplish this?
- Breathe – take a deep breath, remove yourself from the intensity when possible
- Don’t over complicate the issue – things are complicated right now, but remember that people are still people, so let’s not lose sight of that
- Consistency – show up every day as you, and not the stresses around you
One of my trusted mentors often refers to a gyroscope, when we discuss approaching different challenges. He says, “a gyroscope, regardless of the whirlwind going around, will always stay centered.”
We need to remember that our teams are looking to us for answers in uncertain times, probably more than ever.
My encourage to all of us is, to continue to lead with a safety focused mindset, to help ensure we continue to have a positive influence on our industry, organizations, and teams.