december2021january2022 - 17

IS-BAH director, while working at IBAC
and it stands for safety without management
practices; and like a real swamp, it is a bad
place to be.
In a SWAMP environment, the following
are present in the organization:
* Safety responsibility/accountability is not
accepted and perceived as a burden.
* Accidents are accepted as part of the business
- think of the last time a leader said, " it is
not a question of if, but when. "
* There is minimal to no strategic planning
for safety.
* Organization communications are siloed and
information is not shared.
* There is a lot of finger-pointing and blaming.
This is a scary place to be, right? While
some of these traits may be in any organization,
in those with a SWAMP safety environment,
these traits are pervasive. What a
safety management system needs is good,
solid, deliberate safety leadership to not only
ensure the work of safety management is done
effectively but to build the culture to sustain
safety management efforts.
So, what are some traits of a good safety
leader in the organization? According to
Sperry (2013) and cast in a safety leadership
light, here are some characteristics of a good
safety leader:
* Identifies the safety vision and mission of
the organization and communicates them
* Creates a safety strategy for the organization
including the development of safety
* Builds shared values regarding safety in followers
(think safety culture.).
* Is engaged in organizational safety management
Take a moment to reflect on the safety leadership
in your own organization. Are some of
the above traits apparent? If so, do you see how
it ultimately influences safety performance
in your organization? The traits listed above
imply the deliberate practice of leadership in
regard to safety. Add to that the last trait is
explicit in defining a leader's position in relation
to the SMS - engaged.
Earlier I stated that there are many
approaches to leadership and that a given
approach isn't necessarily as important as
the deliberate act of leadership. However, academic
research has shown that there are two
proven approaches to leadership in relation to
safety. These two approaches are transactional
leadership and transformational leadership.
Specifically, transactional leadership has
been proven effective in inspiring compliance
with safety regulations and standard operating
procedures (Clarke, 2013) while transformational
leadership has been proven effective in
instilling and maintaining a positive safety culture
(Mullen et al., 2017; Zohar, 2002). Safety
leaders have used both of these approaches in
tandem, but I feel that effort should be put into
an approach that inspires a passion for safety in
the organization, which ultimately leads to creating
safety citizens - a topic for another article.
The transformational leadership approach is
perfectly suited to do this.
Transactional leadership is effective in
that the leader will provide something to the
follower in exchange for something given by
that follower. For example, if you - the follower
- comply with the rules and don't have
an incident, you will get a reward from me - the
leader. Or, it could be that the leader provides
the follower with the tools to be safe with the
expectation that the follower will use those
tools to improve safety.
This leadership approach is effective for
instilling compliance-based behaviors, however,
it is very shallow. In other words, since the
behavior depends on a transaction, the behavior
is based on extrinsic actions and/or rewards.
What I feel we want in our organizations are
followers who are intrinsically motivated to be
safe and improve safety in the organization.
leadership has been
shown to influence followers at the deeper
level of motivation (Muchiri et al., 2019). This
is accomplished through the four facets of
transformational leadership:
* Inspirational motivation
* Idealized influence
* Intellectual stimulation
* Individual consideration
A transformational safety leader casts the
vision of safety and what needs to be done to
support it (inspirational motivation), sets the
example regarding safety behavior (idealized
influence), encourages follower participation in
developing safety solutions and risk controls
(intellectual stimulation) and always remembers
that the safety management system is not a
mechanized group of processes and procedures,
but is comprised of people.
As such, the transformational safety leader
will coach individuals who doubt safety management
and gently hold individuals accountable
for his/her safety management obligations
(individual consideration).
So, what does deliberate leadership result in
with relation to the safety management system?
The presence of robust safety leadership will
experience rewarding safety objectives being
set and resources committed to achieving them,
giving safety practitioners a " seat at the table "
and holding line managers accountable for
safety management responsibilities.
Important, however, is that leadership will
be actively engaged in the safety management of
the organization. An absence of leadership - or
even an antagonistic leadership approach - can
lead to safety without management practices. A
quid pro quo approach to safety leadership will
get you compliance, but provide a transformational
experience to change hearts.
This will instill an innate sense of wanting
to improve safety in the organization and set
the tone for the organization in terms of safety.
Finally, and importantly, leaders need to stay
engaged. Be present, be accessible, lead deliberately
and shepherd your organization into safe
Read this article online, complete with full
references at
Jason Starke currently serves as the director of standards for Baldwin Aviation. Prior
to this, he served as the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) operations
manager, working with both the IS-BAO and IS-BAH programs. He joined IBAC from
Universal Weather and Aviation where he led efforts to develop an SMS software
solution and SMS training for Universal's business aviation clients. He also served
as a part-time simulator instructor for FlightSafety International in the CL-601 and
HS-800XP training programs. He has an Airline Transport Pilot certificate and is rated in the CE-500,
CL-600, and HS-125. Starke started his career as a satellite systems operator in the U.S. Air Force
and has a B.S. in Meteorology from Northern Illinois University and a Master of Aviation Science from
Everglades University. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership at Northcentral
University. Starke also teaches aviation safety and SMS at the University of Southern California,
Viterbi School of Engineering.


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of december2021january2022

Publisher's Note: A Legacy We Built Together
Business Buzz
Industry Expert Column: Safety Leadership's Critical Function in SMS
Data's Effect on GSE Performance
Ground Handling's Virtual Classroom
What Air Cargo Needs from Airports
Make Air Cargo a Priority for Smaller Regional Airports
An External Resource for Handling Large Events
Detecting and Mitigating Fuel Leaks with Technology
Product Hangar
Editor's Note: Applying Lessons Learned
december2021january2022 - 1
december2021january2022 - 2
december2021january2022 - 3
december2021january2022 - 4
december2021january2022 - 5
december2021january2022 - Publisher's Note: A Legacy We Built Together
december2021january2022 - 7
december2021january2022 - Business Buzz
december2021january2022 - 9
december2021january2022 - 10
december2021january2022 - 11
december2021january2022 - 12
december2021january2022 - 13
december2021january2022 - 14
december2021january2022 - 15
december2021january2022 - Industry Expert Column: Safety Leadership's Critical Function in SMS
december2021january2022 - 17
december2021january2022 - Data's Effect on GSE Performance
december2021january2022 - 19
december2021january2022 - 20
december2021january2022 - 21
december2021january2022 - Ground Handling's Virtual Classroom
december2021january2022 - 23
december2021january2022 - 24
december2021january2022 - 25
december2021january2022 - What Air Cargo Needs from Airports
december2021january2022 - 27
december2021january2022 - 28
december2021january2022 - 29
december2021january2022 - Make Air Cargo a Priority for Smaller Regional Airports
december2021january2022 - 31
december2021january2022 - An External Resource for Handling Large Events
december2021january2022 - 33
december2021january2022 - 34
december2021january2022 - Detecting and Mitigating Fuel Leaks with Technology
december2021january2022 - 36
december2021january2022 - Product Hangar
december2021january2022 - 38
december2021january2022 - 39
december2021january2022 - 40
december2021january2022 - 41
december2021january2022 - Editor's Note: Applying Lessons Learned
december2021january2022 - 43
december2021january2022 - 44