The Godfather- Tom Hagen! Do you have it in you???


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This week marks me completing reading the Book “THE GODFATHER” about 40 years back. It was during the summer vacation as 14 year old, my thirst for English novels began. “The God Father” one of the first few I picked up to read from Dad’s office club which had 1000s of books in English fiction. (I am yet to fully see the 3 sequels of the movies in theater, Hopefully one day I do make it; may be the 50th year of its release in 2022). 

One of the key charecter who impressed me in the entire book as well as Snippets of movie (Practically seen 90% but never at a stretch) is “TOM HAGEN” the family lawyer. (played by Robert Dovall going strong at 86) Tom is the go getting guy who works the plan, agrees to disagree with  father and son Dons, Vito and Michelle Corleone and the sound board for all the plans that the family puts across. Infact, Tom could have been swept away in the auora of the Godfather! But he never does go away and always maintains his own stature, image, point of view to gudie the family in good times and not so good times! 

Can’t see a better description to match what ESH folks do to that of Tom Hagen!!! 

So what is that EHS Folks need to do to work things and go up places in the ladder as well as holding on to their own! 

  1. Work with a mentor!! It matters a lot, look for a person who is a master (Sensei) who can guide, coach, imbibe skills in to you. Be willing to learn, be open minded, flexible to pick up things! As Steve Jobs says,”Steal Shamelessly” 

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  2. Work Relationship:- Nothing brings success as much as developing working relationship and getting things done. 70% results is acheived through relationship power. Be in touch with folks, keep connected, get to know people. Reach out to them, read my post on ARK for aspects.  

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3. Deliver Results:- Ultimately you are judged by what you delivered. Failing to deliver results with all other aspects in good shape counts to nothing! So work a plan, turn plans in to measurable objectives, targets and how success would look like. Track them through weekly, monthly, quarterly, half yearly progress and do course correction. Targets should be what people want, not what you want to deliver! 

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4) Failure is not an option:- Successful people, never give up even at worst of times. The classic example “APPOLO 13” catastrophic failure of mission, the team leader Gene Cranz worked to bring back the stranded astronauts safely. His mission” Failure is not an option”! Work with positive intent, work plans, seek opinion, be transparent, respect ideas, communicare, communicate, communicate!! When working plans and executing always work to make people better!.

5) Intelligent Risk taking:-  In work situations, many times not all data points, information shall be available. Work the best optimal outcome by intelligent risk taking. Agree, organisation culture should promote such behaviour of accepting failures, for getting better results. 

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6) Integrative thinking and Technical excellence:- EHS Folks need to think like owners with basic expertise in all areas of business like Finance, operations, People capital, Sales & marketing to promote their ideas. One trick pony would no longer carry them ahead to have integrative thinking skills! Ofcourse, these are only possible if the Subject matter expertise in their work area of EHS functional excellence is well oiled in the area of 1) Safety operations, 2) Industrial Hygiene 3) Environment 4) Occupational Medicine 5) Sustainability 6) Facilities 7) Projects management being core areas to shape up. 

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As I keep saying, it is all easy to read, but difficult to execute, this requires will to change, a desire to succeed, a good environment that works the change as well as leadership and culture. 

Take it easy, take care, god bless.

21/5/17. 1830 Hrs. 

Author: Karthik B; Orion Transcenders. Bangalore.

Lives in Bangalore. HESS Professional of 30+ yrs experience. Global Exposure in 4 continents of over 22 years in implementation of Health, Environment, Safety, Sustainability. First batch of Environmental Engineers from 1985 Batch. Qualified for implementing Lean, 6Sigma, HR best practices integrating them in to HESS as value add to business.

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