If You Don’t Agree, You’re As Dumb As A Flat Earther!

If You Don’t Agree, You’re As Dumb As A Flat Earther!

Believe it or not, that sentiment is how I met the one and only Clive F. Lloyd

Almost two years ago now, I was perusing around LinkedIn and found an interesting article. It was written by a VERY zealous guy about the “evidence” he’d stumbled upon proving that Behavior Based Safety was the best thing since Pavlov discovered Kibbles & Bits.

In it the man explained that he had just flown on an airplane. He then (illogically) concluded that since he had followed all of the airport’s boarding and security protocols, BBS was the only way to do safety.

I know. I didn’t get it either.

What stuck in my mind about it, though, was that he concluded in the article that if you didn’t agree with him, you might as well believe the earth is flat.

Enter Clive…

As I LOL’d my way through the comment section of the deranged man’s article, I stumbled upon a gem of a quote from none other than Clive Lloyd. I’m not going to repeat the quote here because it ended up in my book. You should go check it out and find out why the quote was so impactful for me.

As it goes, Clive and I developed a friendship through LinkedIn after I asked if I could include that quote in my book. Not only did he say yes to that request, but he actually volunteered to proofread the manuscript once it was finished. I have family members who won’t even do that!

Needless to say, his feedback was invaluable and helped me secure a publishing deal. Having him on one of my episodes of SJL Presents was the least I could do in return.

You will not be disappointed

In the episode, Clive and I cover a lot of ground. Particularly, he explains how to make a safer workplace physically by building trust psychologically. It was a great conversation and I’m beyond proud to share it with you.

If you’re new to this blog, let me introduce myself. My name is Jason. I’m a safety professional, podcast host, author, and world-renowned origami artist (that’s a lie). If you’re NOT new to this blog, go buy my book… it’s like this but multiplied by the power of unicorn tears. In any case, I hope you enjoy the content here. Please like, share, and join in the discussion as we all pursue Relentless Safety.

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We’re No (SAFETY) Heroes

But the bigger you are, the bigger the target on your back

When I started writing on this site I had a lot to say. The path to making those statements has become much clearer over time. But not because my ideas were so brilliant and I’m more self-aware than most (as much as I’d like to believe that I don’t think it’s true). My learning has come from the emails, phone calls, and online interactions with the people who read these posts. Almost all of those engagements have been positive… Almost.

There has been, and will likely always be, polarization about any given topic. I admit I’ve been deliberately provocative at times in regard to my views on safety. But I’ve never believed it is mission to convince the rest of the world to agree with my ideas. I’m not nearly responsible enough to wield that kind of power anyway. Seriously, you would not enjoy being my unwitting subjects (not everyone enjoys T. Swift as much as I do).

My goal has always been to start conversations. Not hate-filled internet insult tournaments. Most everyone I come into contact knows that. Some people just want to fight though. That has never been more noticable to me than it has in the last few weeks.

Enter the SJL..

A couple months ago five acquaintances on LinkedIn started chatting together about collaborating on content. I don’t think any of us had any idea if it would even work. Then roughly a month ago we strung together a few clips of us giving our perspective on some common safety questions. The result was pretty amazing. I found myself learning from each of the others more than I could have imagined (we don’t collaborate answers, only the questions).

The conversations these little clips have started have been nothing short of awe-inspiring. Not only have we offered answers, we’ve been given some incredible ones as well. Proof that there is a wealth of information in the safety pro community that can (and should) be shared. I’ve also gained four amazing friends through the process. But that’s not what I’m getting at here.

One of the early comments on our #AskASafetyPro clips made mention (in light-hearted fashion) that we all had great individual content, but we are “like the Justice League of Safety” when we team up. In jest, I changed the name of the ongoing group chat to #SafetyJusticeLeague. It stuck. But we’re no heroes. We’re just like all you average citizens 🙂

The name has been a positive identifier for our group. From what I gather, most people understand it’s not meant to be taken as a self-righteous statement of our superiority. A small minority, though, has used it to scoff. That’s fine. We’re not here to change minds, we’re here to start those conversations I mentioned earlier. Anyone is welcome to join. My hope (and I believe I can speak for the group) is that we all learn something in the process.

Secret identities don’t change the world

As my friend Phil La Duke told me earlier on in this process, the target on your back gets bigger along with your name. Phil has lived that more than most, I imagine. Anyone who shares their true identity with the public is subject to personal attacks and just plain nastiness. It’s a weird world online. I really don’t understand how words someone types on their phone or laptop can elicit such hate. But I’ll keep being myself and offering up my experience in spite of it because the message is what’s important (even if it only helps one person). The post below from Shay Rowbottom is a good reminder of that.

Now we can return to our regularly scheduled program

Next week I’ll be back with my usual snarky humor and obscure observations. This stuff has just been on my mind lately. The last thing I’ll say about it is this. Be nice to people online. You probably don’t know them well. Assumptions, accusations and insults don’t further any conversation.

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Rat Someone Out For Safety! (Good Stuffs)

Anyone who’s read my content probably thinks they know where this is going.

You’re wrong. To be fair I was too, but it’s a good story anyway. Sooooo, CELL PHONES.

I got a call yesterday from an old friend and former VP of a company I worked for years ago. He told me a story with a twist I wasn’t expecting.

“Jason, I’ve gotta tell you this story,” he began. “I know you’ll appreciate it.”

My friend, Mike, proceeded to tell me about his commute home the prior evening. He described looking into the next lane and noticing a woman in a Prius texting. But not just texting… TEXTING! She was “in it.” Both hands on the phone, eyes on the screen, car driving itself (they do that now… and people think Skynet is just from a movie).

Then he took his phone out…

I chuckled when he told me the next part (sorry Mike), but I get it. He’d noticed there was a company logo on the side of the car. So, he snapped a few pictures of it with his phone. That prompted him to send the following email later that evening (something he wouldn’t ordinarily do). If you saw the pictures you’d do it too. Even a Skynet Prius has it’s limits without a driver (for now).

This is the cool part

The next morning Mike received a phone call around 7 am. He answered and heard a woman’s voice.

“Mike this is _____. You ratted me out yesterday.” In my mind I imagine the seconds after that statement lingered for a while, but she continued. “Thank you,” she said. “I’m the Safety Manager!”

He told me that she sounded genuinely thankful. They found through their conversation that they are both motorcycle riders and both sensitive to the actions of other drivers. For me, though, the best part of the story was hearing about the woman’s humility and grace. We could all learn to be more receptive to corrections and criticisms. Many of them are done with good intentions even when they feel like you’re being dimed out.

And hey, even if the other person is trying to be a jackass and dime you out there is probably something worthwhile to learn from the situation. We’re imperfect beings. The best among us are the ones who learn from every opportunity. Plus, when Skynet does take over we can rest assured that it’s going to get the bullies first anyway (think about it… bullies probably aren’t the ones who are smart enough to build a computer with artificial intelligence).

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Let’s Give Back: MOVEMBER (Good Stuffs)

We may not have the answers, but lets find them

Back in May I was contacted by a reader with a blog topic request about mental health. It was a heavy one. His story was incredible, yet hard to process. Those who know me well, know that I’ve struggled through some dark times and dark places, but everyone’s experience is different and I have been pondering what I could/should add to the conversation almost daily since receiving his email.

I’m not a mental health expert by any stretch of anyone’s imagination. In some ways I feel unqualified to even broach the subject. In other ways I think that feeling is just selfish. Because if something I write encourages or motivates just one person to stay here and live, the words are worth it.

The email, as I mentioned, was heavy. In it, the reader recounted how struggling with depression, he was placed on a “work improvement” program by his employer. In the midst of that added stress he attempted to commit suicide. While recovering on disability his employer accelerated the work improvement timeline. Then, upon returning to work, he was terminated.

Thankfully, he is still alive and working things out. I know from being in my own DARK PLACE, however, that it’s easy to go back. It takes support, daily commitment, and knowledge we may not have yet.

Enter the Movember Foundation

My colleague Tim Sanken contacted me a few days ago with a great idea and proposal. Over the last few years, Tim has raised an incredible amount of money with the Movember Foundation to help end men’s suicide. I’m sure many of you are aware, as I was, that the month of November typically has an accompaniment of men growing terrible mustaches. What I didn’t realize is that there is a great reason behind the movement.

It all started with the Movember Foundation. Tim and his team (which I am now happily a part of) have set a goal to raise $10,000 this month that will go directly to support men’s health issues. Everything from prostate cancer, to mental health, and suicide prevention.

This is such a worthy cause when you consider the impact it can have. Consider these facts:

  • 6 of every ten suicides is a male
  • Globally, 1 man dies of suicide every minute of every day’
  • The Movember Foundation has funded over 1,250 men’s health projects in the US and around the world*

What if our contributions could end just one of those tragic, unnecessary deaths? I think it would be worth it.

Please consider joining Tim and myself on Tim’s Movember Stachers

To speak with someone immediately, contact National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK) or Lifeline Crisis Chat.
If life is in danger, call 911 or go directly to emergency services.
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Safety Positive: Good Stuffs Vol. 4

You are not alone

I’m not sure when, but in my early days of experimenting with social media I tried to start a provocative conversation on LinkedIn. I had made a fair amount of connections, most of them in the safety field. So, I decided to pose a question. It was something along the lines of:

As a safety professional, do you ever feel like a man/woman without a country?

If I was feeling that way at the time, I don’t remember. But anyone who says this career field isn’t (at times) lonely, draining, and demoralizing is lying to you. There are some huge rewards when you know you’ve made a difference, but those moments are spread between miles of thankless slogs through the barren wilderness.

The responses to my “provocative” question above were less than earth shattering. One guy asked me if it was a cry for help and I felt like I needed to talk. Another couple proceeded to tell me about how great their companies were and that safety was the number one value, priority, absolute zero tolerance, most bestest, super-awesome thing ever. I’m pretty sure one of those guys mentioned he rode a unicorn to work, too… Good for them.

What I know is that every good safety professional I’ve ever met has wanted to quit and wondered if what we do is worth it. That’s understandable when you consider that we often eat our own while simultaneously being bombarded by the pressures of profitability and corruption that will likely never go away.

How am I doing on this positive post so far?

Not good? Fair enough. My point is that there are low points. Where we choose to go when standing in those valleys determines our success. In my experience it’s hard to go to any good places without good people to back you up. This week in “Good Suffs,” I’m proud to share a connection of mine (although recent) who is passionate about doing just that.

Rosa Antonia Carrillo is a trailblazer in the field of leadership and team development. She speaks regularly around the world about the power of building relationships. In particular, how those relationships will drive safety performance in a positive direction. If you’re not following her or are unfamiliar with her work, do yourself a favor and get up to speed. Here’s a snippet:

As you probably noticed, Rosa recently published what I believe will be one of the defining works regarding relationships and safety. It’s called The Relationship Factor in Safety Leadership and you should get your copy now! I’m currently engrossed in it and can tell you without a doubt that it is the direction this profession needs to head.

(Affiliate Link)

The safety profession won’t grow unless we change. And we can’t change if we don’t support those who are blazing new paths. Rosa is one who deserves our support.

Use this code for Rosa’s new book: The Relationship Factor in Safety Leadership
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Safety Positive: Good Stuffs Vol 3

Mentors make careers meaningful… Michael King is bringing them to you!

I was extremely blessed to have a mentor early in my safety career who taught me to question everything. Not for the sake of being obstinate, but for the sake of learning. That’s a sentiment my friend Nathan Braymen (featured in good stuffs vol 2) talks about a lot in his #RedBeard videos.

In any case, my mentor Nick, was a huge part of my life for quite a few years. Even when I no longer worked for him, he was a sounding board and a source of encouragement. He often told me I was more talented than he could ever hope to be. I don’t know if that was true, but it sure made me want to live up to that high bar.

The most impactful thing he gave me, however, were his stories. They were amazing. And even when he told me one I’d heard a thousand times, I listened. His wisdom, humor, and ability to deeply (and objectively) analyze himself and others are skills I have tried to adapt and make my own since first working with him in 2008.

Unfortunately, Nick passed away due to cancer in 2016. Since then I’ve met some great peers, but no one has been able to match the guidance he provided me. In large part, that was what drove me to write A Practical Guide to the Safety Profession: The Relentless Pursuit. Several of his stories are included in it. This post isn’t about me, but please do check out the book.

Then do yourself a favor and check out safetyrefined.com

Michael King has a passion for mentoring people. Whether helping out at-risk teens, coaching sports, or helping new safety professionals grow, Michael is working to make the world better one person at a time.

His website (safetyrefined.com) is a unique resource for safety professionals at any point in their career. It’s aimed at finding great mentors then helping others find them. Let’s do all of ourselves a favor and help support Michael in this endeavor. You never know how much impact it might have on you.

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Safety Positive: Good Stuffs Vol 2

If you’re not learning, you’re dead

Before I started writing this blog, I spent months of sleepless nights writing A Practical Guide to the Safety Profession: The Relentless Pursuit. What was initially a rant about all of the things I saw wrong with the safety world turned into a journey of self-discovery. I knew that if all I had to offer was gripe about how wrong everything was, it wouldn’t be useful. So, I did my best to bring something of value into the world. When it was done I knew it was worth sharing, but it terrified me.

I thought the ideas would blacklist me. Not because they were radical, but because they didn’t conform. It was a lonely time. In retrospect it was foolhardy, and maybe even a little arrogant to think no one else shared my desire to make this profession better, but that’s where I was. Then the Relentless Safety journey began and I realized there are other voices out there. I also realized that what I had to say was worth saying.

In the words of my editor: “I can’t believe you say some of the things you say. But somebody needs to.”

That’s what this series is about. I’m not going to stop commenting on the state of the profession or challenging us to do better, but I’m not the only one doing it. There are others dedicated to the new view in safety. I want to use what little influence I have to give them the praise they deserve.

The traditional “Safety Man” is a thing of the past. Here’s to those that are actually making workplaces safer.

This week: RedBeard

Nathan Braymen is the founder of isitrecordable.com (wish I had thought of that BTW) and a corporate safety manager who just gets it. He understands that not everyone will see eye to eye, but has a great message about bridging those gaps. He also sees safety practically and says it like it is. Check out his YouTube channel and learn some good stuffs for yourself.

(He’s also a fellow vet, so thanks for your service Nathan!)

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Safety Positive

And now for something a little different…

I’ve spent a lot of time on this blog talking about the pitfalls and shortcomings of traditional safety. While that’s still a huge beast to tackle, this past week has given me pause to think about some of the good things we do.

In my last post, I made the point that we could make a whole lot more progress if we focused on the things we strive for rather than the things we don’t want. With that in mind, I’m going to take my own advice and use this series (The Good Stuffs) to highlight some people who are doing big things in the safety community.

First up…

Last week the ASSP announced their first Cohort of online community influencers. Jason Lucas, creator of the #SocialMediaSafetyMinute, was one of the 22 selected. When you have some spare time, take a look at Jason’s LinkedIn content. He’s done a great job of breaking down the basics that we all tend to overlook from time to time.

It’s time to get louder

This week in my subscriber email newsletter, I covered the idea that there are a lot of great voices out there in the safety community. While I believe that to be true, I also think the good voices get drowned out by the old guard.

If you or someone you know is making waves in the safety world email me and let me know. I’d love to give them any bandwidth I can.

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