Drive to the Conditions

We hear this saying quite a lot. “Slow down and drive to the conditions.”

Over the last few weeks we have had our active storm season of dark thunderous clouds, pelting rain and high winds to contend with. I’ve noticed, on my regular highway drive to and from the office, that the weather reports on the radio are always urging people to drive to the conditions. Problem is, I don’t think many drivers I observe know what that really means for them.

I should make it clear that I’m not perfect by a long way. There are moments when I’m not driving to the conditions. Sometimes I need a prompt such as a voice on the radio or observing someone doing the same as me to make me realise.

How often do you find yourself not ‘driving’ to the conditions that are present in you? Many of us tend to ignore those conditions, just like we do when we are behind the wheel.

Ok, swap rain for stress. Or heavy clouds for pressure. Maybe heat for fatigue, wind for distraction, and darkness for irritation. You get it, right?

When we experience any of those conditions, what do we do? Slow down or speed up? Take a break or push through? Take notice or ignore the signs? Do we even know they are there? What risks (both physically and mentally) are we exposing ourselves to in that moment? Are we placing others in harms’ way through our actions?

In the moment, our brain is convincing us that it “won’t happen to me” or “I can handle it”. How you respond in that moment goes a long way to determining whether you experience an unpleasant outcome or not.

It may not happen this time or the next time and so on. In fact, every time it doesn’t happen (and you experience a positive outcome) your brain has coded it is a pleasant experience and we are all drawn to pleasure. But it does happen out there in the real world and it happens to people just like you and me. Sadly, we see or hear about it every day.

So, when you next notice the conditions make the conscious decision to drive to those conditions….at least until the storm passes. In life, at work….and behind the wheel.

Top 5 Safety Leadership Behaviours

Do your leaders have the skills required to lead a high performance safety culture? What behaviours differentiate high performing companies from low performing? We recently completed a global study of 15,000 people who participated in our Safety Leadership ScorecardTM since 2003. We compared the top 10% and bottom 10% and here’s what we discovered about what the best performing leaders consistently do:

  1. Practice what they preach
  2. Treat people fairly
  3. Will admit when they make a mistake
  4. Always puts safety before production when the two are in conflict
  5. Will spend time with me to help me do my job safely