April 18 2022
By: Shawn M. Galloway
Aside from consistently winning, what can a chess master do that an amateur cannot? Think ahead and recognize emerging patterns.
Finishing up a phone call while sitting in the parking lot of a home improvement store, I watched to my left as an older man loaded a new glass door into the bed of his truck. Unfortunately, he left the flatbed dolly next to the right rear tire. As he pulled away, it immediately punctured his tire. He pulled forward in front of me, and as my call was coming to an end, I offered to help.
Located in the bed of his truck, under the new glass door and a shattered one from his customer's house that he had just come from, was his spare tire. While walking backward, a telescoping pool cleaning pole he was carrying smashed through their glass door, necessitating this visit to the store. As we put the spare tire on, it became apparent that it only had two-thirds of the necessary air pressure. Luckily there was an auto parts store in the same parking lot. Today was not his day, but I'm sure it started with great intentions!
Part of leadership's responsibility is to help individuals think multiple moves ahead. For this concept, one of my clients, Kent, used to tell his people, "Fast forward, rewind, then play it through." If only this gentleman had worked for Kent. This mantra might have saved him some time and money.
"Unfortunately, becoming a good chess player doesn't ensure that you will be a safe worker; but more and more, the complexity of our safety challenges will force us to think differently to win the battle against unwanted workplace injuries." — Terry L. Mathis
"Good intentions are not the whole story. You must also pay attention." — George Hammond
Shawn M. Galloway is CEO of the global consultancy ProAct Safety. He is a trusted advisor, professional keynote speaker, and author of several bestselling books on safety strategy, culture, leadership, and behavior-based safety. He is a monthly columnist for several magazines and one of the most prolific contributors in the industry, having also authored over 700 podcasts, 200 articles, and 100 videos. Shawn has received awards and recognition for his significant contributions from the American Society of Safety Professionals, National Safety Council's Top 40 Rising Stars and Top Ten Speakers, EHS Today Magazine's 50 People Who Most Influenced EHS, ISHN Magazine's POWER 101 - Leaders of the EHS World and their newest list: 50 Leaders for Today and Tomorrow, Pro-Sapien's list of The Top 11 Health and Safety Influencers and is an Avetta Distinguished Fellow.