In 2000, I was gifted the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” written by Dr Stephen Covey. The book went to change my life. While I was successful at a personal level with reading “Think and grow rich” in 1988 (30 years flew) this invaluable book gave me lot of clarity to work my way in my corporate environment more so when working in multinational, multi cultural, international assignments.
So what are the 7 habits? How does it translate in to actions for a successful EHS professional career.
Habits are first formed in the HEAD! One needs to have the will to work the change that they want to see. Try that thought in head and practice, it becomes a habit. Example saying I would wear seat belt every time. Try 21 days with effort and willpower in head, it is a habit. Habit is the confluence/sweet spot of Skill, Desire and Knowledge. Habits become synonymous with “Unconscious Competence”
So how EHS professionals can embrace the 7 Habits and be even more successful:-
- Be Proactive:- Work the vision, Mission, Policies etc align to organisation values,core competence. Identify key behaviours that would be required to be successful at all levels in organisation. ( Growth, Customer Focus, Get Results, Making people better etc.)
- Begin with the end in Mind:- How success would look like. Work the tool of “Risk Assessment” A good risk assessment carried out with a clear Hazard Identification shall go a long way to a safer /healthier/productive work place. The Risk mitigation plans worked through “hierarchy of controls” helps achieving the same. Always have a positive outlook, think and work as though success is achieved. Never give in to self-doubt, fear. Always ask “What is organisation what to achieve in EHS- How we can align to the same.
- Put first thing first:- Distinguish between Important and Urgent! Learn to “MANAGE” on Important and Urgent as well as FOCUS on Important but not Urgent. Align to Risk Portfolio where RED Risks are Important and Urgent. Yellow are Important but Not URGENT. Focus on them as well as organisational Goals, Objectives and targets that are enablers to deliver results. Track them on weekly, monthly, quarterly basis. Work course corrections if required. Deadlines are sacrosanct, never miss. NEVER! Be realistic in setting deadlines. Many miss this key aspect. Also develop relationship, people are key to get things done!
- Think Win Win:- How all can win. See everything from holistic standpoint. Work success is not a ZERO SUM GAME. Set your personal ego aside. Learn to lose small battle, to win bigger war. Work on Integrity, character, Trust.
- Seek First to Understand than to be understood:- Participation from all crucial. Listen, Engage, every opinion counts.
- Synergize:- 1+1 =3 Simply stated. See how it can be leveraged from HSE standpoint. Listen, engage, ask opinion. Establish norms, protocol, process, program, procedures to strengthen. Ask for support.
- Sharpen the saw:- Keep going. Getting entry in to systems, process is beginning of race, not the end. As the saying goes, “Reaching top is easy, staying there is difficult”
So from EHS standpoint, professionals can live 7 habits:-
- Opportunities for EHS cost reduction, business first, profits must. Do more with less.
- Areas which require continuous attention and improvement, engagement from EHS Standpoint.
- Effectiveness of EHS management systems through metrics, monitoring, progress.
- Areas which are high-risk for environmental or safety hazards through sound risk assessments, mitigations, corrective and preventive actions and stay on top.
- Environmental and safety regulation compliance which is first and foremost.
- Employee training, consultation, communication practices to keep systems dynamic. Take inputs, work improvement.
- Listen, visible felt leadership.
- All contractors, III party, Toll activities etc assessment and control for foot print control.
Good luck, take it easy, take care.
Karthik 3/1/18, 1830 Hrs.