Video Book (VOOK) on leadership development

For your convenience there is a pdf with hyperlinks located here:  Safety Leadership Video Book

The purpose of this free course is to help leaders save money and increase compliance.  You can expect:

  1. video and testimonials from safety leaders
  2. proven tips for you to reduce costs
  3. proven tactics for you to increase compliance
  4. marketing data and best practices from experts

Throughout this free course I will provide NOTES: and KEY PROBLEMS: and STATE OF THE INDUSTRY: and NEXT STEPS:

Please share this content with your colleagues in:

  •  safety
  • health
  • environmental
  • industry
  • insurance
  • government
  • education

Please apply this content to your industry or service.

This first video from a safety leader gets at some core issues…

His passion speaks for thousands of safety leaders across the globe.  He may represent the quiet voices at your company.  I want you to speak up for safety leadership.

A key question in coaching and leadership development is, “Who do you listen to?”

There are many academics and practitioners and consultants who offer “facts.” Throughout this free course I will identify sources and provide links.  I want you to listen to several points of view from experts. Then I want you to make smart decisions.  Quickly.

True story from Doug Gray:  In May, 2013 I was asked to speak at an ASSE (American Society of Safety Engineers) Professional Development Conference in Charlotte, NC.  I provided several titles based on articles published in our association journal, Professional Safety, and they selected “How to Coach Safety Coaches; 7 Proven Tips.”  After the session I was approached by a massive man who, frankly, intimidated me.

To my delight and surprise he said, “I traveled down here from Virginia just because of this title.  Your talk was just what I needed.  I had been thinking that I needed to change careers.  Now I know that to need to stay in safety.  And I need to be smarter.  Thank you.”

We all need encouragement.  Hope leads to better problem solving.

The return on investment of leadership consulting is over 500%.  All of my work, since 1997, is guaranteed 100%.  As you look at this video, ask “What does our company need?”


STATE OF THE INDUSTRY:  ABILITY TO PAY.   Consider these statistics:

    1. The estimated direct U.S. workers compensation costs for the most disabling workplace injuries and illnesses in 2006 were $48.6 billion (Liberty Mutual 2008 Workplace Safety Index.)
    2. Lost productivity from workplace injuries and illnesses costs companies over $60 billion each year (OSHA)
    3. Behavior Based Safety Programs have been in place for over 20 years now… They foster peer-peer observations, real-time feedback and rewards.  The best BBS programs actively require executive support.



  • Most employers focus on lagging indicators instead of leading, preventative indicators
  • Most insurance company leaders measure the direct costs of injury and illness, minimize the indirect costs, and enforce compliance that mitigates risk and expense
  • Some economic buyers at corporations do not invest in professional development because they are (inaccurately) told that “we cannot afford to invest on our people.”



    1. Performance metrics need to be tied to compensation, not good intentions or loud declarations or intimidation.
    2. Safety incentive reward programs need to measure leading indicators.  Too much money is being wasted.
    3. Safety leaders (like you) need to invest in cost-effective solutions (like us) to  1) increase compliance, 2) increase worker engagement, 3) reduce waste.
    4. The best companies invest in professional development.  Shareholder value of those companies is at least 50% higher than for companies that do not invest in professional development.  And despite noise to the contrary, U.S. corporations have more money in hand than ever before.  See the chart below comparing corporate earnings and individual wages.


Study this chart.  Then share this chart.  Perhaps you have seen this chart from Q4, 2012?  This data may amaze you. The red line indicates corporate earnings, which are at an all time high. The blue line indicates individual wage earnings, which are at an all time low.


The gap between these lines is one indication of low engagement by most workers. Clearly, we need more professional development of key talent. Companies have the cash assets.  Individuals have the need.

What does this gap suggest about the need for professional development at your company?

What does this gap suggest about the proliferation of outsourced specialized roles, such as external coaching and consulting?  (Some 40% of the American workforce…)

MYTH:  There is not enough money to invest in professional development.

FACT:   There is ample money for corporate investment in your professional development.


    1. Many leaders avoid career path and succession planning because it seems complex
    2. Workers now change careers 5 times in their lifetime, on average.  We do so because we are seeking a better compensation package or opportunity.  Or because we are sick of working for our current manager.


FACT:  Career paths of safety leaders are not well defined. The EHS leaders in this next video describe the challenges of short term projects, remote job sites, and suggest several solutions. As you watch this 4:35 minute video I encourage you to reflect on your career.  And the careers of those you care about.


    1. Select a mentor.  We know that the most successful leaders have at least 6 people as mentors.  They are typically “one up and two over.”  Seek proven leaders in different divisions or business lines or geographies.  Seek leaders in professional networks.  (More on mentors below.)
    2. State something to a colleague such as, “You are important at this project.  I care about your career.  And I want to help you.”  Then do it daily.  To several people.
    3. Safety leaders (like you) need to invest in cost-effective solutions (like us) to  1) increase compliance, 2) increase worker engagement, 3) reduce waste.
    4. Start or maintain a personal journal.  Use a private thumb drive or hard bound book.  Never share it.  Use it to reflect and explore ideas.

KEY QUESTIONS from this video include:

    • Who is concerned about your career path?
    • Who is your mentor?
    • How do you manage the career path of talented safety leaders?

These are tough questions for many leaders to answer.   To make it easier, you need to memorize some definitions.

Start with these definitions.



  • Leader: rallies others behind a vision of a better future.  The key skills are optimism, and public. (Source: Marcus Buckingham and the Gallup organization.)
  • Manager: maximizes the productivity of others.  The key skills are coaching, and private.  (Source: Marcus Buckingham and the Gallup organization.)
  • Mentor:  internal or external expert who imparts knowledge or skills upon request.  The key skills are individual and based upon proven expertise.  (Source: Harvard Business Essentials.)
  • Coach: internal or external consultant who teaches skills, values, or desired behaviors to develop a personal or professional result.  The key skills are process-oriented and supportive.  (Source: Harvard Business Essentials.)



    1. These definitions are worth memorizing and sharing out loud.  Repeatedly.
    2. Each definition has different key skills.
    3. Those key skills can be taught and learned.  (“Old dogs” can in fact learn new skills.  Ignorant dogs do not choose to learn.  Humans are not dogs. Therefore, that is a bad analogy.)
    4. These definitions may NOT be used interchangeably.  Please do NOT be a sloppy leader.  Use exact language.  A leader is, by definition, NOT the same thing as a manager.  Think of them as different hats that you/we wear at different times.  A coach is NOT the same things as a mentor.  Your colleagues and clients should demand that you use the exact words.  We will do so.  Sloppy thinking leads to sloppy results.

Mentors may be older, or younger.  Consider the wisdom from these safety leaders.  As you watch this clip, recall the mentors who have helped you develop your career to date.

Then ask, who are my next coaches or mentors?

True story from Doug Gray:  Since 1997 I have provided leadership consulting and executive coaching for hundreds of people.  One insurance leader said, “I cannot tell anyone at my company what frightens me.  But frankly, I am afraid of losing my job.  I’m afraid of not knowing enough or making a costly mistake.  I am afraid of being reassigned to some young manager who does not know the value I have provided for this company. I can’t talk about these fears to anyone inside our company.  And I certainly can’t talk about these fears with my wife, because that would scare her so much that she would lose sleep!”

We all need objective, encouraging coaches. We need to trust others. We need to actively seek solutions.

Safety leaders (like you) need to invest in cost-effective solutions (like us) to  1) increase compliance, 2) increase worker engagement, and 3) reduce waste.

At a recent ASSE chapter meeting, someone asked me, “What makes you unique or different?”

I replied, “I will never argue about fall protection standards or insurance benefits.  You are the subject matter experts (SMEs) in those fields.  However, I can help you with the process of your business.  How do I do so? I coach safety coaches.  Specifically, I teach safety leaders to make smarter decisions. Faster.”

No one does a better job of teaching business leaders to be smarter.  Call Doug Gray today at (704) 750-9842.


Here are 2 video clips from safety leaders, followed by some key questions.  Do you agree with these people?

KEY QUESTIONS from this video clip:

  • Do you agree that good leaders need an “open door?”
  • Do you agree that a good leader needs to “adapt and overcome?”

Now contrast those comments with this next video clip.

  • Do you agree that a good leader “should provide positive advice?”
  • Do you agree that a good leader “should ensure that the other party knows what you are saying?”

The goal of this free course is to provoke you into answering these 2 core questions:

What makes a good leader?  What makes a good manager?


  1. Sloppy language leads to sloppy results.
  2. You can model good management by repeating the following definition.  “Managers, by definition, maximize the productivity of others.”  When you are coaching a crew or a direct report, you can state a script such as, “As your manager, my job is to maximize the productivity of others.  That is why we need to review these requirements… Do you have any comments or questions about them?”
  3. Safety leaders (like you) need to invest in cost-effective solutions (like us) to  1) increase compliance, 2) increase worker engagement, 3) reduce waste.

True story from Doug Gray:  In June, 2013, I was speaking at the annual meeting of an energy management company in Baltimore, MD.  I asked, “How many of you have the word “manager” in your title?”  About 80% of them raised their hands.

Then I quickly asked, “And how many of you like to be managed?”  Less than 5% raised their hands.

We hate to be managed.  Yet managers MUST maximize the productivity of others.

FACT:  The #1 complaint at EVERY work group is “poor communication.”  

Poor communication leads to low morale, production delays, blaming, stress, illness and disease.


There is a myth that individuals define success.  Those individual leaders make the magazine covers.  But they do not DEFINE success.  Leaders, by definition, rally others behind a vision of  a better future.  Leaders are public, optimistic figures.  Leaders state the vision.  Teams define success.

Consider this video clip from a former NFL player.  He describes how working on an EHS team is similar to working on a football team.  Then reflect on your current work team…


  • Do you (also) “tell 3 people every day what they are doing that is good?”
  • How are you providing specific feedback to reinforce desired behaviors in others on your team?
  • What fears are “holding you back” from coaching others to be more effective?

There are three well established steps in behavioral change.  I call them the 3 A’s:

1.  Assessments

2.  Constructive Actions

3.  Accountability

These are 3 coachable skills.  As you watch this next short video clip, consider how you are assessing the strengths of your team.


  •  How are you assessing the strengths of your team?
  •  What are the top competencies of successful leaders at your job?
  • How do you know (in fact) that those are the top competencies for success?

True story from Doug Gray:  Since 1997, I have provided consulting and coaching solutions to hundreds of leaders, in several industries.  In 2008, I was asked to help a new team of 9-10 EHS leaders.  They reminded me of other clients in finance and technology and energy…  But they were different.

My opening comments included  a suggestion that they should “stretch during the training.”  To make the point more dramatically I grabbed a chair and stepped up.  I was ready to leap on top of it…  But these leaders were different.

Instead, one of them said, “Wait a minute!”  Then he got up from his chair and supported me.  I was hooked.

Safety leaders ARE different.

Safety leaders demand results now.

If you like this free course, then I know that you will LOVE the new program we are developing.   For details contact us.

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