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Seven Segments of Leadership for Safety Professionals

I recently had an opportunity to attend a leadership training program and always enjoy them.  At this one there was discussion about the seven segments of leadership and I quickly decided that I needed to pass these along to all safety professionals.  Unfortunately, many times we have to be reminded that we all are in leadership roles.  Being a leader to ensure culture development or regulatory compliance or safety communication.  No matter what tasks you undertake, always remember these segments.  Write them out and practice them over and over again.  Take a little time out and think of how these segments can be applied to your job as the safety professional.


What is the inner journey?  It’s knowing myself: who I am, how I think, feel and perceive.  How I gain mastery of the inner journey can be accomplished through vulnerability, self awareness, reflection and wise feedback (CONNECTION).  An example could be an Ah Ha moment!  “A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.”

  • Risk, Change, Independence – It’s blazing our own path, comfort and joy in surfing the whitewaters of change.  Gain EXPERIENCE, feel independent and confident with risk.  “Leaping from a cliff, confident I’ll build an airplane on the way down.”
  • Who I AM – It’s my personality and other genetic variants within – the changeless core of ‘me’.  Gain mastery through subjective comparison – me vs. others on a number of dimensions…BE AWARE.  “I can learn to behave like an extrovert, but it is always hard – who I AM is little effort.”
  • How I THINK – It’s what I notice, how I make decisions, my thoughts and ‘inside voices’.  Gain mastery through watching myself make decisions, listen to understand not agree or disagree with…OBSERVE & COMPARE.  “To be hero, villain or victim is a choice.  Whether I believe I can or I can’t – that will be true.”
  • What I BELIEVE – It’s my values, norms, belief systems that embody me.  How I make sense of my world.  The lenses/frames I see through.  Gain mastery through listening to the stories I tell myself, understand the experience underling a belief…REFLECT.  “Tall dark strangers, tortured artists and drunk Irishmen exist as ideas in our head not as people in the world.”


What is the outer journey?  It’s observable behaviors, what a video camera can capture.  How I gan mastery of the outer journey can be accomplished through DO – taking action.  An example could “BE the change you want to see in the world.”

  • Who I CONNECT with – It’s how those I lead think, feel and see.  Social awareness and emotional intelligence.  Gain by COMMUNICATION.  Be ever more sensitive to how others are, see through their eyes.  “Finding the right things to say to the right people to connect with them.”
  • What I KNOW – It’s deep and specific domain expertise – safety professional.  Gain by LEARNING.  Study, listen, seek mentors and ask questions.  “Learning the language and customs of a new industry – just like being in a new country.”
  • How I EXECUTE – It’s how I problem solve, manage situations and bring ideas into reality?  Motivating and managing myself and others.  Gain by PRACTICE.  Facing challenges with a determination to take action.  “Charging into the forest, singing a marching song, the troops following close behind.”

Good luck and have fun doing what you do.

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