21 qualities of an effective safety leader
All great security programs are run by great leaders. Mastering leadership skills is just as important as mastering safety skills. They must work hand in hand for you to develop an outstanding security initiative within your organization. Check out these twenty-one ideas to see how many you are using. This is a good list to start examining your performance. Over time, keep adding to the list. It is a commitment of great benefit to you personally and to the general safety of those under your responsibility.
(1) Be a more visible leader of security initiatives. It is important that employees see you as the person of “action” who does not let security problems go unanswered. Your response to issues helps build confidence in the process and the overall efforts made by the security department.
(2) React quickly to security issues / concerns that arise. You don’t want to be considered a “black hole” when it comes to security. Employees who raise concerns want answers. Even if nothing can be done, it is vitally important that you respond in a timely manner. Set deadlines for contacting the people who give you a request for help.
(3) Become a leader who “takes charge.” Don’t wait for others to do what you should do. Be aggressive in addressing problems. Be in the forefront of problems. Let people see you as someone who can and does lead.
(4) Complete assignments in a timely manner. Don’t leave problems open. Incomplete assignments are unacceptable behavior for leaders. They finish what they started and get things done in the most efficient and effective way that they can. Set deadlines for yourself and stay on track. If you need help, get it. Just don’t let things get by the wayside. That doesn’t make your management, your peers, or your employees love you.
(5) Stay ahead of trouble. Be proactive. Always look for a better way. Keep your eyes on the big picture. When you see security initiatives, always look for ways to improve the process. Again, be aggressive in anticipating events before they come to light. Keeping this perspective will minimize the likelihood of a catastrophic event occurring without warning.
(6) Don’t be left behind. Concentrate. Don’t make excuses. Get things done quickly and correctly. Purchase some type of time management system, such as the Franklin-Covy or Daytimer systems. If you prefer to use a computer or a handheld device, set your schedule on them. The bottom line is that you need a calendar, a schedule of events. Each day, prioritize the items and get started. By making a list to work from, you always know what tasks await you. This allows for better scheduling and competition.
(7) Hold everyone accountable for doing their part of the security process. A true leader does their homework, but also requires those who take on assignments for them to complete their work as well. Accountability is a key characteristic that all great leaders practice and expect from their leaders. You cannot do everything yourself. Raise your expectations and people will respond accordingly.
(8) Be a team player. Work well with everyone, regardless of how you personally feel about them. You are a professional. You must work with all employees in your company. Build a reputation for being a friendly and cooperative player. You don’t have to like someone, but you have a professional obligation to work well with them. If you can’t do this, you don’t deserve to lead … period!
(9) Keep everyone informed of your activities. As you work on projects, keep your management team informed of progress. This is not as critical for short term projects but it is important for projects that span several weeks. Emails, memos, phone calls … use the best means of communication for the situation. Document those contact periods and methods on your daily calendar so that you can chronicle your activities in case someone questions your efforts or communications. Never forget that the person with the best grades will generally win the disagreement.
(10) If you are assigned a task, do it. Don’t tell him twice. When discussing an assignment from your manager, don’t leave until you are very clear about the desired outcome. But, when the discussion is over and you are clear about your tasks, do so. Confidence and confidence in your leadership abilities are greatly diminished if you have to be repeatedly told to start a task. An agile mindset works well. Carrying out your projects after the initial discussion increases your credibility and greatly improves the level of trust your management team will have in you.
(11) Increase your enthusiasm for everything you do. Enthusiasm can be started by anything. When you train, do it with enthusiasm. Thinking that you don’t like doing a task will make the task monotonous. Enthusiasm for undertaking a task will make the activity a pleasure to do. Everything is in the mind. To be perceived as enthusiastic, you must be enthusiastic. Behaving this way makes you a nicer person to be with and will also increase your credibility.
(12) Stay busy. Minimize socializing. When you come to work, be prepared to work. Earn your pay with your productivity. Yes, it is important to take an occasional break. But they don’t pay you to socialize. You are paid to produce. Visit, but be constantly vigilant when visiting becomes a time-wasting activity. Busy people do more things. And the people who do more get a higher level of respect in an organization. People with a higher level of respect tend to have a greater opportunity to move up the ladder of responsibility.
(13) Stay up-to-date on safety regulations. As a professional, you must continually build your learning curve. Network with other professionals, read safety magazines and books, and / or attend safety conferences. Use the Internet to research a topic or problem. Keep learning and you will grow. If you are not learning, you are regressing because there is always something new on the horizon.
(14) Be on time. If you schedule a meeting or are asked to participate in a meeting, be on time. This simply comes down to being respectful of others.
(15) Act like you want the job. To be considered for a leadership position, you must demonstrate the ability to do the job. Acting indifferently or ineffectively does not make one feel attracted to leadership. If you want to be the leader in safety, let people know by your actions that you can handle the job.
(16) Driving while walking. Be visible in the field. Schedule regular tours. Talk to people about safe behavior. Correct any unsafe activities or conditions you observe. Being visible links the job to you. You cannot manage security from your office.
(17) You are always on display. Never forget that everyone admires you for your leadership of security initiatives. His behavior, behavior and attitude are in constant evaluation mode. Let everyone see what they need to see to build confidence in your leadership ability and the overall safety initiative undertaken by your department.
(18) Provide solutions, not problems: Great leaders don’t give their management problems to solve. They take the initiative and provide solutions. This is a proactive position. Your job is not to unload “monkeys” on the back of those who manage your work activities. Tackle problems and create workable solutions if you really want to impress those who are watching your performance.
(19) Be easy to work with: Become a “servant leader”. Those leaders who strive to provide high-quality service to those they lead and those they work with will separate themselves from the average crowd. Don’t make life difficult for those who need to work with you in any capacity. Be friendly, polite, and generous with your knowledge. Share what you know and be helpful to the best of your ability. Helping others with a service mindset, in the long term, will result in greater rewards for you and recognition of your leadership skills.
(20) Leadership references: Continue to increase your knowledge of safety leadership. Find good books that talk about leadership topics. Two of my favorite authors on leadership are John Maxwell and John Wooden. Both offer practical leadership ideas that are applicable to virtually every leadership endeavor one might undertake. Read the books with a marker and pen. When you read a passage that is significant to you, highlight it. Write notes on the pages where personal thoughts or ideas are generated as you read. So the book becomes a living document that you can refer to over and over again. Build a reference library. Serious students of leadership and management never stop searching for the next great idea that can help them build their career or increase their components of success.
(21) View your job as a career opportunity, not a job. Too many people just want to earn a good salary without putting in the effort necessary to earn that salary. Viewing your job as a career and not a job gives you a completely different perspective. Careers offer a future and greater security than a job. A professional mindset allows you to see the big picture and ultimately make more meaningful contributions. People with work think about the weekend, not their future.
Get in the habit of periodically reviewing these leadership qualities with the intention of continually improving your performance. That is what true leaders do. Are you ready to join this elite group?