Practical Leadership Skills for Safety Professionals and Project Engineers  book cover
1st Edition

Practical Leadership Skills for Safety Professionals and Project Engineers

ISBN 9781498758222
Published April 5, 2016 by CRC Press
362 Pages 7 Color & 80 B/W Illustrations

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USD $140.00

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Book Description

For Future Leaders in Safety and Engineering

You’ve chosen to become a leader in occupational health and safety. Practical Leadership Skills for Safety Professionals and Project Engineers can show you how. Purposely oriented toward the art and science of leadership, this book is designed to provide insight and outline development techniques for the budding young professional. Aimed squarely at college students and early career professionals, it parallels the steps that a student or recent graduate needs to take (from pre-professional to professional); it moves the reader from the classroom and then on through to early managerial years.

The book covers basic office protocol and etiquette, understanding diversity and cultural nuance, and ethical considerations, and addresses most ABET-accredited engineering and safety programs with similar curricula. It also considers special cases that include toxic leadership; environmental stressors; increasing resilience; gender issues; international nuance; experiential training; and "depleted" leader development environments where upper management doesn’t seem to care. In addition, the author introduces stories, accumulated wisdom, and anecdotes from his own experience, balanced by supported research and data on outcomes.

Part empirical, part anecdotal, this book:

  • Cites current social and psychological work on leadership and professional development
  • References industry‐related leader development research
  • Breaks down what being a "professional" means; codes of ethics; dilemmas; case studies
  • Explores leadership in the crisis and non‐crisis modes
  • Offers help with identifying and fighting toxic leadership, and more

Designed for both coursework and reference, Practical Leadership Skills for Safety Professionals and Project Engineers contains published research combined with the author’s own industry experience. This book provides a blueprint for the undergraduate or early‐career professional in occupational health and safety, industrial hygiene, safety management, and related industries.

Table of Contents


Why Leadership and Why Now?
The "Millenial generation" is a mix of challenge and opportunity
Millennials: who better to have as a safety professional or project engineer?
Shouldn’t we also want to move the needle toward values-based safety and leadership?
Which should a junior leader use: data or stories?
A clear distinction would be good about now
Are there actual data to suggest the need to study leadership, ethics, and protocol among our future professionals, particularly the Millennials?
It’s time for our young professionals to go to the next level: from managing to leading
Do others recognize the need for change? Indeed, they do

Self-Discovery Comes First
Dr. Winn’s 20 maxims about professional life: a first step in self-awareness
Dr. Winn’s PPDP: a reflective plan

Further Becoming a Professional: It Takes Effort outside the Classroom
What does it mean to be a professional?
A professional often has an individualized reading list: it’s good for a dinner invitation and can even help secure a business relationship
Attending your first PDC

Further Becoming a Professional
Dr. Winn’s 50-plus time-tested rules for professional success: managing your time and office
Leading after managing: it’s the future
What others say about the importance of leadership
Here are some thoughts about leaders you may have had in your life


Core Values Underlie Leadership
An organization’s core values aren’t assigned to employees by a committee: they come from individuals who have examined their own motivations
Making a decision to behave congruent with one’s central values: what triggers it?

Culture, Safety, and Engineering

How we can change organizational values and why it’s important
What happens when there is resistance to change? Introducing the James-Lange theory

A values-based leadership model for use in depleted environments
Establish an honor code
Be, Know,Ddo- A model that works in industry as well as the military
Storytelling, nonmaterial rewards, and personal courage
Getting the depleted-environment model to work

Case Studies in Ethical Considerations
Ethics, morals, and values: how are they different?
The leading professional organizations and their codes of ethics
A young professional’s generalized code of conduct: a set of ethical canons you can use at the department level
Plagiarism and consequences for professionals
What’s wrong with just Googling it?
Are morals relative? A dialogue for today’s professionals

Crisis and Noncrisis Leadership Models
Why should we study how the military teaches leadership?
Crisis and noncrisis leaders are different
What is a Level 1 crisis and can it be survived?
What about a Level 2 crisis?
A Level 3 crisis can be survived with the right leadership
Noncrisis leadership model no 1 servant leadership
Noncrisis leadership model no 2: Level 5 leadership
Summary of Collins’ concepts and their use in safety and engineering
Noncrisis leadership: the contributions of Zohar, Barling, and Kelloway
Crisis leadership model no 1: "In Extremis" leadership


What Is "Toxic Leadership?"
Advice for the fresh graduate: don’t shout out the answer in your first meeting

Experiential Training: It’s Not What We’ve Been Teaching in Class
What is experiential training anyway and is it relevant to safety and engineering?
Research and theoretical background
What about training Millennials?
Developing a modified model for experiential training
Summary of the modified model of experiential training

How Authentic Leaders Handle the Death Event
Are young professionals or staff members at personal risk today?

Stress and Morale Challenges for Leaders in Safety and Engineering
The effects of stress are silent, debilitating, and long lasting
Studying the effects of stress on the Buffalo Police Force
Psychological responses to stress and managing it
A leader’s peer mentoring can lead to grit and persistence in followers
Building coping strategies to reduce stress and build resilience
Fostering resilience against stress
Good organizational morale—is a force multiplier
An important update about crisis and noncrisis leader development in microenvironments or depleted environments

Gender in Safety and Engineering
Gender observations from the frontlines
Summary on research associated with gender issues

How Authentic Leaders Handle the Issue of Discipline for Difficult Employees


Organizational Protocol for Safety and Engineering Professionals: A Brief Introduction
Dressing the part
Office communication and behavior
Protocol at your first engineering or safety conference
International nuance for young professionals
Business symbolism: honoring the American flag
A bit about funerals
Summary of office protocol and procedures

Summary of this book’s key concepts
Entering a profession
Becoming a leader


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Gary Winn is a fully promoted and tenured professor in the Safety Management Program, which is part of the Industrial and Management Systems Engineering Department at West Virginia University in Morgantown, where he serves as program coordinator for the Occupational Safety and Health doctoral program. Dr. Winn owned and operated the American Historic Motorcycle Racing Association in its early years and has authored over 80 peer-reviewed proceedings and technical manuscripts over a publishing career spanning 35 years.


"Gary Winn over the years has developed a very good perspective concerning the importance of leadership in driving cultural change to improve safety performance. Procedures and regulations will always have their place in providing a safe work environment. However, procedures and regulations are worthless if leadership is not engaged and accountable and responsible for driving company safety performance. Gary’s understanding of leadership principles and skillfully providing readers with many pertinent examples make this book a "must have" for every safety professional."
Andrew D. Peters, Senior Vice President, Chief Safety Officer, AECOM

"This book addresses a critical need that is far too often overlooked in our colleges and universities, that being how to take charge when you are in charge. We spend a significant amount of effort teaching students how to be engineers and technical experts, then assume they will know what to do when they are placed in a position of responsibility. As Dr. Winn points out, in the field of engineering safety, a failure of leadership can be fatal. Reading this book will help emerging leaders learn what it truly means to lead, and how to become a boss everyone wants to work for."
Dave Miller, Ph.D., Colonel, U.S. Army (retired)

"Gary Winn has written an engaging, personal interchange to challenge the audience to grow professionally over a lifetime. His easy, funny style anticipates questions and critiques - inspiring students and young professionals on this most important journey of leadership development."
Jeremy Slagley, West Point Class of 1992 & Assistant Professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA

"Safety professionals must be leaders not followers. This book applies to both safety professionals and students enrolled in safety programs at institutions of higher education. It will enhance the reader’s knowledge of the application of leadership skills."
Joseph Cali, Ed. D Chairperson, Department of Safety Management, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, USA

"I found the book to be well-organized and readable. The author uses his own experience, as well as recent leadership research to illustrate his points. The practical application of the author’s experience makes his perspective on safety leadership credible.
To sum up, this book is a good introduction to the concept of safety and process safety leadership. The author’s goals were to introduce the subjects of professionalism and crisis and non-crisis leadership. He certainly accomplishes these goals. Leadership skills, however, are developed by experience and success in leadership positions. I recommend this book to all process safety professionals who wish to enhance their leadership competency."
John F. Murphy, AIChE -Process Safety Progress, January 2017 Issue