As it says in my bio I have been in transportation for 20+ years now and I have met some amazing people, have developed some great relationships and would even go as far to say I consider some mentors for me. Having said that what I do find frustrating is people who talk about a great article they have read, or have a PowerPoint with accurate facts about a certain situation or information about a current trend within our industry and you ask if they can share it with you and they simply say no. Really it’s not like I am asking for the caramel secret.
My thoughts on sharing is simple, we all learn from one another and if one of my thoughts, articles or presentations help to keep our roads safer, we all win. Our industry as a whole gets beat up greatly by either the media or public perception so let’s all work together to achieve the same goals, to be ourselves, each other and the industry.
I have been challenged over the years by drivers when I do presentations or I am under a trailer doing an inspection and I hear some chirping but when I am shown something by someone that I didn’t know I am always very grateful that they took the time to show me. At times the look on their faces are priceless but as a safety professional I do not pretend to know everything and when you take the time to show me I will generally shake your hand, thank you and probably use your name in a story on how I learned something. It’s those with a closed mind who believe they know anything and everything about trucking are the scary ones. I encourage everybody to go into every situation with your ears opened and your eyes wide open because you will be surprised what you can learn if you check your ego at the door.
I remember one of my first discussions with the head safety guy at my current employers and he wanted to talk to me and learn my thoughts on safety. Let me first paint the picture, older gentleman, with a height complex and felt it was his way or no it was just his way. His ideas and his approach was very old school, he was right or he was right, that’s all. Whereas for me I listen and coach and together we get the job done. By the end of our meeting, he says to me and I will never forget it, “I probably won’t like you, to wish I responded I probably won’t like you either but as long as we respect one another we will be fine.” I made it a goal that day that this old timer is going to like me and in time he will grow on me. Within months we worked closely together as he knew I was part of the succession plan and he was good with that. As time passed every morning he would walk in and look at me and say, “Morning young fella, to which I would respond, “Morning little buddy”. Paul passed away three years ago now and I have his ID badge in my office as my friend and my mentor. Paul was not always a tough guy in fact he ran a soup kitchen for more than 30 years in Region Park and myself and both of my daughters went there for his last three years and helped out. A good man that is sadly missed.
So please remember the next time someone asks you a question or would like some information that you have shared with a presentation, I encourage you to share your knowledge with one another as together we can achieve more than just as one.
Please look for my next article on, “More Hugs and Less Judgement”.
Thank you kindly,
Be Great! Be Safe!