As safety professionals, we rarely have a direct reporting relationship to the CEO. Our time spent with the CEO is limited by our reporting relationships and the time s/he spends in conversation on safety-related matters.

This provides us with a challenge on the times we do meet with the CEO. We want you to be prepared to share your successes and provide your wisest counsel. You can expect to have many limitations (time, stress, relationship) on getting your message heard.

It is important to take the time to think about what you believe needs to be accomplished to prevent injuries and illnesses to employees and clients and put it into a story that is related to the CEO's world.

If your CEO has golf as a passion (and many do,) this session will help you bridge your message to their passion. Language and culture are integrated into this exchange. Golf has a language and statistic all its own. Use it to your improve your game when speaking with your CEO.

What Are the Lessons We Learn from Golf?

CEOs can relate to golf. It is where they spend their social time. They understand the need to practice, to understand the game, to learn the course, to judge the quality of their clubs, to accept feedback regarding their strokes, and to position themselves to win by mastering those skills and putting them to work.

Here are a few lessons from golf that we will use to illustrate their ability to use a language understood by golfing CEOS:

1. Course Knowledge

  • Know the entire layout-each of the 18 holes has a specific layout/design

  • Holes are played one at a time and in order

  • Know distance and how far you need to go

  • Know hazards and strategies to avoid or overcome with fewest strokes

  • Know the rules of play-The Rules of Golf-USGA

  • Keep score with integrity-BY THE NUMBERS

2. Equipment

  • Having equipment that fits takes preparation

  • Use a practice swing on new equipment to get the feel

  • Keep up with improvements on new equipment to improve your game

3. Protocol/Manners/Appearance

  • Working with club management & staff in a private club environment

  • Dress code

  • Course courtesy

Putting it Together-How to Engage Your CEO in Safety: Lessons Learned from Golf
1. Meeting the CEO

  • Know thyself

  • Know the CEO

  • Know the CEO's direct reports

  • Let CEO know your ability to work with Operations, CFO, Risk Manager, Human Resources and the management team

  • Know the company and their products, services, financials & strategic plans, plans for growth/change

  • Storytelling on how to get to the CEO

  • What is the structure and hierarchy in the business culture

  • What if you can't get to the CEO-story adaptation

  • Setting up the meeting

    • Respect time-Be able to tell story in 10–15 minutes. Expand if asked.

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