Has someone disrespected you in a group setting? Have you clearly been treated unfairly? Do you sometimes sense that no one is listening or that you’re unappreciated? If you find yourself affirmatively answering any of these questions – or all of them – you must learn and understand self-regulation, the second skill set in learning to lead through emotional intelligence.
Do your crew supervisors know what they should know about effectively managing a group of lineworkers to construct and maintain high-voltage power line systems? Often we find out the answer to this question too late. We made too many assumptions early on and the crew supervisor has now failed – possibly in a big way. If we had only realized what this supervisor didn’t know before he took on all these responsibilities, maybe we could have prevented these problems.
One of the greatest educational journeys you can take in life is to study yourself, other people and business, in that order. Too many people today have the journey backward. Knowing yourself is a fundamental objective when learning and understanding leadership. Throughout this article, we will build a case for why effective leadership of others starts with leading yourself.
When you are the one held most responsible, you must learn to manage efficient workflow, processes and outcomes. You do not manage people – you lead them, either effectively or ineffectively. In today’s competitive marketplace, you will be judged and evaluated on how you do both.
If your ambitions are to move up the ladder to take a leadership position, or if you have found yourself already there, you must understand how to manage processes and lead people and discipline yourself to do just that. It is the combination of managing and leading that creates long-term results and the ability to adapt to a changing market.
Six Sigma is the evolution of statistical quality improvement processes that have been used extensively to improve manufacturing and other process-related industries. How good is Six Sigma? It is a statistical measure of variability or standard deviation. The Six Sigma process calculates to 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Needless to say, that is near perfect execution of a process. Although not often used in the safety arena to full potential, Six Sigma tools can help produce significant and sustainable improvements in safety performance, injury reduction and associated pain.
I have been asked to present the opening keynote address at the fall iP Safety Conference & Expo, which will take place September 25-27 in Vancouver, Wash., just a few minutes outside Portland, Ore. It will be an honor to stand before conference attendees to share a safety message that will set the tone for the three-day conference. I plan to discuss safety excellence – how employees who work and operate with excellence at all times promote an excellent safety environment, one free from serious injuries and fatalities.
Change is rapidly becoming a common denominator for many utility safety programs for a variety of reasons. New equipment and automation bring changes to traditional work practices. Generational differences are changing the demographics of the workforce. Safety programs no longer focus just on OSHA compliance and lagging indicators. Certifications, such as the Certified Utility Safety Professional credential, are focusing on leadership, human performance, standards, hazard identification, operations and incident prevention techniques to achieve safety excellence.
Individually, the disciplines of safety, leadership and communication each encompass a broad range of specialized experience. Yet, if we look at the relationship between the three disciplines, we can create a general understanding of how safety and leadership are directly impacted by communication in a specific work environment.
Apprentice training has been around as long as man has worked. I retired after a nearly 50-year career that began with an apprenticeship, and I currently act as a safety and training director, working with power line and electrical apprentices. My personal training was all on the job with almost no bookwork. A lineman I worked with gave me his copy of the “Lineman’s Handbook” and told me to read it. This book was perhaps the first version of a distance learning program. Fortunately, our crew leader was a very conscientious man and the linemen were exceptionally good. Several years later, with the mentoring of that crew, I became a journeyman.
Industries concerned about bottom-line expenses tend to place behavior safety training low on the priority list. However, consider the direct costs your company paid for incidents, accidents, injuries, lost time, lost productivity, and damage to equipment or facilities during the past year. This article will outline a training program that can create significant safety advances as well as immeasurable returns on safe work practices.