September 2014

As chief elected officer of the Society, ASSE's president promotes the advancement of the Society and the safety profession, and represents ASSE before members, other relevant professional societies and various governmental agencies. Professional Safety shares his latest thoughts on the Society, the profession and its practice.

Read past messages in the President's Message Archive.

President's Message - September 2008

The more ASSE influences the profession, the more our members will be in a position to influence safety in their workplaces.

2008-2009 ASSE President Warren Brown, CSP, ARM

Leadership in the Safety Profession

The word lead can be defined in many ways. Phrases such as to guide, to direct, to influence and to show the way provide a reasonable definition of what leaders do. Consider, for example, how ASSE is becoming a global leader of the SH&E profession. The Society was recently represented at the XVIII World Safety Conference in Seoul, Korea. Ours was the only presentation that addressed leading the profession and advancing its practitioners. Through active participation in such international events, ASSE is leading the way in promoting the SH&E profession globally and advocating for the SH&E professional. The more we influence the profession, the more our members will be in a position to influence safety in their workplaces.

Achieving this mission requires strong leadership. Within ASSE, nearly 1,200 members currently hold leadership positions as defined by our bylaws and Society Operating Guidelines. Yet, although the ASSE governance structure offers only so many direct leadership positions, I believe that all 32,000 members are leaders of this profession. By recognizing the importance of belonging to ASSE, you are already exhibiting leadership qualities. You recognize that ASSE can help you advance safety in your respective workplaces. You realize that ASSE can help you learn how to influence your constituents so that they will want to follow your lead to achieve organizational goals.

Now, I ask you to take the next step: Consider how volunteering for a leadership position in ASSE will further enhance your career—and help build an even stronger ASSE. By becoming a volunteer leader, you can learn what leadership style fits you best, practice leading by influence and accomplish goals with limited resources—skills that translate well to today’s workplace. There is also the opportunity to participate in ASSE’s annual leadership conference for chapter, region and practice specialty leaders. This is an excellent opportunity to learn different leadership and management techniques and business skills. I encourage all incoming leaders to attend this year’s event, which will be held Oct. 2-4 near ASSE headquarters. If you are not currently active in the Society leadership chain, please encourage your local Society leaders to attend this important event.

The ASSE leadership team recognizes that as demand for our time—from both work and life—increases, there seems to be little time left to volunteer to ASSE. We are actively working to streamline how we accomplish Society business to help our volunteers make the most of this time. We are also looking to the virtual world to make chapter affairs more accessible to more members and to alleviate geographic constraints that can hinder involvement.

By taking full advantage of your ASSE membership and using the knowledge and skills available to you through active involvement, you will be more effective in your career and you will help ASSE remain strong far into the future.

Warren K. Brown, CSP, ARM