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Leadership – What Do We All Want?

Posted by Jonathan Klane on Aug 23, 2021 12:00:00 PM

Previous: Safety culture – What descriptors would others use to describe yours?

Leadership research and articles are numerous, yet there is one trait that frequently rises to the top. 

Can you guess? Go ahead; I’ll wait. If you said integrity, give yourself 10 points.  

Similar to the many articles on leadership, there are several definitions or contexts for integrity. 

A simple one is “walking the talk,” meaning that our behavior meets our words. Integrity obviously has a value basis. People often describe it as a combination of honesty and ethics consistently demonstrated.  

When we lead our teams, how we conduct ourselves is critical. It’s not just what we say, but also how we act. Whether it’s a student organization, a staff group, or a research group in a lab, what are the examples that we set? As leaders, we are often instrumental in establishing our team’s norms of accepted behaviors and ones that aren’t part of how we engage with each other.  

Speaking of group norms, what’s another word for it? Again, I’ll wait. Did you say culture? If so, that’s another 10 points for you. So, when we engage in safety and health practices and behaviors in our team setting, we’re establishing a safety culture. And if it’s a positive one, it may be a true culture of safety.  

When we demonstrate our concern for the health and safety of others, that reinforces our safety culture. 

Group norms are contagious; they can be a good infection that bonds us, builds our team, and develops strength and resiliency. When we demonstrate that we actively care for our team members and their health and safety, it shows our integrity.  

Be a safety leader – demonstrate integrity – show you care.


Next: Teams and the one thing that makes them successful


“Reframing Organizations” by Bolman + Deal

“Project Management for Dummies” 

“The Economist”

Dwight D. Eisenhower

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