A George Robotham Classic! Must Read Article For All Safety Professionals
One of the classic articles by the late George Robotham. No apologies for the raw language and honesty. George does never held back on telling it how it is and we respect him 100% for that because he had actually been there, done that. This is one of dozens of articles he has written.
George’s Philosophy on Life, Work and Relationships
1. Challenging the status quo is fun and much better than putting up with fools and mediocrity, occasionally this really gets you in the shit. Do not let this deter you, most of the time you will have a win
2. Win-Win is bull shit, you have to win and the other bloke has to lose, preferably big time, this is the only way people will take you seriously
3. Within the limits of the above be respectful and caring of others
4. Learn the skills of reflective listening and appropriate self-disclosure, helps with interpersonal relationships
5. Look after your team and the little people because you are stuffed without them
6. Have a well developed bull-shit detector
7. While it is tempting to be a bit of a bull shit artist you have to be very, very good at it and have a fantastic memory or you will be found out eventually and lose all credibility, much easier to simply tell the truth
8. It is preferable that people like you but this will not always happen so do not worry about this too much, be concerned however if they do not respect you.
9. Do not take yourself too seriously
10. If you want to understand how an organisation functions talk to the workers, the more senior people become in organisations the more removed from the reality of how the organisation operates they become
11. Celebrate success
12. Understand people will lie to you, ask for the solid evidence
13. Try to be uncomplicated and succinct in everything you do
14. Admit your mistakes and fix them publically
15. Determination-Never give-up!
16. You cannot succeed unless you know your goals, you cannot succeed and know you have arrived without goals. Planning increases your chances of achieving the goals. If you do not take action you will never attain anything. Direction and purpose are two of the most vital factors that you must have in your life if you are going to be successful.
17. Do not procrastinate
18. Successful people are usually positive people. They think about what they want and are optimistic, they expect the best and they expect to win. Faced with problems and obstacle, the positive minded person will look for solutions and a way forward. The negative person will spend so much time whingeing they never move forward. We chose in life. The one thing that can bring success or failure in our lives is our attitude.
19. A handy thing to remember is that no matter how bleak things look there will always be someone worse off.
20. See every challenge and responsibility as an opportunity to sell yourself.
21. Be a life-long learner.
22. “When reading your correspondence the reader must say “Wow” in the first third of the page”
23. “When listening to your presentation the listener must say “Wow” within the first 3 minutes”
24. Get damn good at what you do through practice and focus, give and receive regular feedback.
25. Push through your difficulties.
26. Serve others something of value. Whatever you do must be based on a needs analysis.
27. Persist through failure.
28. Remember your example affects the behaviour of others.
29. Never be late, start & finish on time.
30. When initiating change remember “People support what they create” Initiating change is difficult at the best of times, if you do not involve those affected by the change in the change process it is unlikely to work.
31. Remember the 7 P rule-Prior Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.
32. Be a life-long learner in a variety of fields.
33. It is often the relationships you build not your technical skills that determine success.
34. Be squeaky clean in whatever you do or you will be found out, ask Bill Clinton .
35. Network actively both in business and personal life, people prefer to deal with people they know.
36. Whatever you do ask yourself “How will this work in the middle of the night when it is pouring down rain?” Use “real world” approaches not theory alone.
37. Do not complain.
38. Do not engage with idiots, they just drag you down to their level
39. Do not criticise others, compliment instead when you really mean it.
40. Do not make excuses, accept 100% responsibility for everything that happens to you.
41. Use humour in your interactions, no-one likes a grouch. Learn how to use humour
42. Grab the opportunity to speak publically about your passion whenever you can. Learn how to speak well. Influencing others, but particularly your peers, can be very satisfying. Avoid lecture style presentations and build activities for your audience into the presentation. Refer to the papers “Adult Learning Principles and Process” and “How to give an unforgettable presentation “on ohschange.com.au for practical tips.
43. Read up on written communications, oral communications, attentive listening, interpersonal skills (probably the most important of all), team-building, personal excellence, leadership, project management, change management and time management and practice improving your skills.
44. Remember the number one job of a leader is to transmit and embed high value standards.
45. Learn about and apply a continuous improvement philosophy.
46. Plan ahead and the unexpected will not cause an emergency, always have a contingency approach.
47. Coach / mentor / guide / advise the inexperienced, this is the way life-long friendships are built. Try to get your own mentor.
48. Wherever possible use on the job learning to compliment theory.
49. Beware of the person who can make pig poo, look, taste, small & feel like strawberry jam
50. Strategic approaches are important but make sure you spend enough time in the field that you do not lose contact with the everyday reality of how the business is managed
51. Always think about “What is in it for me” from the perspective of others you are trying to influence
52. Your family and your health should always take precedence.
53. Have a pet and go for walks / camping in the bush and on the beach.
54. Give up the smokes and the fast food and drink the grog sparingly.
55. It does no harm to do something silly every now and again, relax and generally chill out.
56. Get away from the television and read.
57. Laurie Lawrence says “Excellence is no accident”
58. General Norman Schwarzkopf says “Failures in leadership are invariably failures in character, not competence”
59. A mate of mine says “The trouble with business is some professionals engage in acts of public masturbation”
60. To sum up – FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION