We’ve been working with Don Ritz, (VP Safety and Health), Bruce Huber (Director, Safety and Health), and their highly dedicated team at Barrick Gold for the past five years. It’s been a real treat because everyone is so deeply committed to building a much safer company in an industry with a bad safety record. During the past few years they’ve seen a 75% reduction in safety incidents!!
Don is a very articulate and effective presenter. He and I have jointly presented our work on “Courageous Leadership for Health and Safety” at conferences in Vancouver, Reno, Santiago, and internal workshops. The best definition I have ever heard of “persuasion” is “logic on fire.” Don’s an incredibly persuasive guy. He reaches your heart with powerful stories, examples, and metaphors – emotional intelligence in action. Woven into those leadership messages is rock-solid data and management logic.
Don has just sent me a couple of his latest articles. Here’s the description of an especially timely and powerful one entitled “Courageous Safety Leadership in Turbulent Times: The Economic Moment of Truth for Safety Commitment:
Smart leaders focus on safety even in tough times. Businesses that retreat into survival mode and ignore safety do so at their peril, risking loss of employee and stakeholder confidence and exposing themselves to financial and reputational loss they can ill afford. It’s a moment of truth when employees and stakeholders learn whether safety is truly your priority or just a convenient cliché for good times. Visionary leaders who build safety culture even in a downturn maintain people’s trust, prevent loss, and position the organization for enhanced success as times improve. Safety is the right business focus in good times and bad.
I’ve written about and showed some of Barrick’s approaches in past issues of The Leader Letter:
• Practical Role Modeling: Barrick Gold Provides Specific Guidelines https://www.clemmergroup.com/newsl/july2006.html
• Courageous Leadership for Health & Safety – https://www.clemmergroup.com/newsl/dec2006.html