Building Your “Leadership Presence” for a Sustainable Safety Culture

Building Your Leadership Presence for a Stronger Safety Culture | call to action!What’s your vision of a safety leader? If you were to complete the statement, “I believe a leader is …”, what would it say? More to the point, How do we know we’re leading safety culture in the best way? As safety leaders, we have to inspire confidence, passion and commitment around a safety culture. A big part of that is ensuring those around us actually view us as legitimate leaders.  Building your “leadership presence” will go a long way toward that is the case. [content_protector password=”blpssc” identifier=”blpssc”]

Leading Safety Culture With Are-Know-Do

Leadership presence starts with who you ARE as a leader. This refers to your values, your motives and your character, and it answers the question, “Who am I as a person and a leader regardless of the situation and when no one is looking?” Personal integrity is key when leading safety culture.Another New e-Book by safetyBUILT-IN!

One potential problem is, this facet of leadership is “caught” not “taught.” Personal integrity is something you either have or you don’t. And if you don’t have it, you’d better get it if your plan is leading safety culture or leading people in a safety culture change. Otherwise, they’ll quickly see through you and you’ll come across as a mere manager, not a leader.

Just as important for leadership presence is what you KNOW as a leader. This refers to your skills, your abilities and your traits, and it answers the question, “What have I personally learned through intentional education to become better at leading safety culture?” Good leaders are rarely satisfied with their current level of leadership and are always looking for better ways to lead people.

FCTC OnlineFinally, leadership presence is about what you DO as a leader. This refers to your behaviors, your habits, your styles and your competencies, and it answers the question, “What behaviors do I display that might cause others to view me as a leader when leading safety culture?”

A great way to determine what you need to work on as a leader is to think of someone else you believe is a good leader and just ask yourself a few questions:

“Why do I believe this person is a good leader?”

“What is it about this person that makes me believe s/he is a good leader?”

“What behaviors/traits does this person exhibit that cause me to view him/her as a leader?”

“What values does this person hold, and how to they represent those values in their leadership?”

Once you have a list of attributes, traits, behaviors, etc., then it’s just a matter of beginning to emulate those things in your own practice while leading safety culture.

We’ll continue to flesh out this “leadership presence” theme over the next several months and explain in detail how it impacts your safety culture. In the meantime, be sure to view the associated video below to learn more about this. Well, that’s it for this edition of Recordable INSIGHTS. Until next time.



About the Author

Eric Svendsen
Eric Svendsen, Ph.D., is Principal and lead change agent for safetyBUILT-IN, a safety-leadership learning and development organization. He has over 20 years experience in creating and executing outcomes-based leadership development and culture change initiatives aligned to organizational goals, and he personally led the safety-culture initiatives of a number of client organizations that resulted in “best ever safety performance” years for those companies.