Chapter 3
Preparation Phase: Layingthe 
Foundation for SHE Excellence
The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his
temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes
but few calculations beforehand.
Sun Tzu
3.1  Management Commitment and Living Leadership
The noted Greek philosopher Plato observed thatthe beginning is the most
important part of the work.
This maxim is true when implementing the Lean
SHE pillar, for the initial planning or preparation stage is crucial to the ultimate
success of the process. Although the initial inclination is often to rush into the
implementation phase of Lean, it is vital to build a strong foundation for the
process first. A good starting point for a Lean process and the SHE pillar is
obtaining full management commitment to the initiative. Management leader-
ship, and commitment to and visible support for SHE are essential because
management sets the vision, values, and priorities for the organization. DuPont
argues that senior leadership must demonstrate “felt” safety leadership, mean-
ing they make safety a personal value and act upon that value. According to
DuPont, “Felt leadership is a public proclamation of an organizations com-
mitment to caring about people. It is a building block in constructing trust
and real-world relationships among employees, customers, shareholders and
36 ◾  Lean Sustainability
DuPont’s 10 principles of safety leadership should guide the
behavior of senior management as an organization implements a Lean SHE
pillar process. Leaders must
Be visible to the organization
Be relentless about time with people
Recognize their role as teacher/trainer
Develop their own safety skills and pass them along to the organization
Behave and lead as they desire others to do
Maintain a self-safety focus
Confirm and reconfirm safety as the No. 1 value
Place continuous emphasis on and clarity around safety expectations
Show a passion for ZERO injuries, illnesses, and incidents
Celebrate and recognize ZERO successes
Another way to look at the SHE leadership that must be demonstrated by
senior management is via the “3 H heart, head, and hands model” shown
in Figure3.1. To be truly effective, leaders must feel commitment to safety,
health, and environmental excellence in their hearts, believe it in their
heads, and act upon it with their hands. In other words, organizational lead-
ers must hold safety, health, and environmental excellence as a personal
value, must have an intellectual and emotional commitment to ensuring a
safe workplace, and must take personal action to achieve outstanding SHE
performance. A leader’s commitment to SHE excellence must be unwavering
and uncompromising, in good times and in bad. It is said that “the only safe
ship in a storm is leadership,
and this must be true for organizational SHE
leadership. Senior management should provide a model for the organization
Head Hands
Figure 3.1  The 3 H leadership model.

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