Lanny Floyd is an expert in electrical safety and understands how to lead organizations in order to drive dramatic change. He has spent his career working to protect employees from electrical hazards and he provides some outstanding leadership lessons for organizational change, even for those who don’t work in or around electrical hazards. Lanny’s story is inspirational!
H. Landis “Lanny” Floyd II received his BSEE from VA Tech in 1973. His 45+ year career with DuPont focused on electrical safety in the construction, operation and maintenance of DuPont facilities worldwide. His responsibilities included improving management systems, competency renewal, work practices, and the application of technologies critical to electrical safety performance in all DuPont operations. He is an adjunct faculty member in the graduate school of Advanced Safety Engineering and Management (ASEM) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). At UAB, he teaches Prevention through Design, Engineering Ethics. He also teaches Electrical Systems Safety which he developed for the ASEM curriculum. He is an IEEE Life Fellow, a professional member of American Society of Safety Engineers, a Certified Safety Professional, a Certified Electrical Safety Compliance Professional, a Certified Maintenance & Reliability Professional, a Certified Reliability Leader and a registered professional engineer in Delaware. He established Electrical Safety Group, Inc. in 2001 to provide expert consulting services in electrical safety matters.
Lanny and his team built a case around the need to change fundamentally how electrical safety was managed. The level of acceptable risk was way too high compared to how safety was managed in other areas. He started a quest to reduce the risk to people and advance the practice of electrical safety.
In the last 20 years of his 45 years with DuPont he was able to reduce the number of electrical fatalities to zero. He and his team were able to achieve breakthrough performance in managing the risk with electrical energy contact and sustain that for 25 years. However, he is not satisfied with this number because there are still electrical fatalities around the world and he sees a global trend of increasing electrical fatalities.
Lanny uses the concept of flying to the moon and how humankind achieved what seemed impossible. He describes the importance of stretching the capability of how we currently think and looking beyond the artificial barriers, what we perceive to be real barriers and think about things differently. This type of thinking may be used to help us work towards greater goals.
It is extremely important to help instill a level of curiosity in others as we teach. Expanding the ability to think critically about what is possible is an extremely important skill for leaders as they lead others. As leaders, it is extremely important to help develop other leaders and improve the way leaders think about problems and how they engage others about thinking differently.
Pushing beyond what we think is possible is important. We need to think beyond basic compliance and work towards achieving excellence. Compliance is important, but will only take us so far in terms of organizational performance. The analogy of heroes in history who have changed the world comes to mind, such as Thomas Edison, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Michael Jordan, The Beatles, and Hank Aaron. These were all people who pushed the boundaries. They didn’t get to where they were by seeking average compliance. They “kicked the boxes,” sought excellence and opened the way for people to come behind them. Just like those heroes, leaders need to build the case for being excellent, not just average.
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Time-Stamped Show Notes:
· 0:38-Randy introduces Lanny Floyd and describes who he is, including reading his formal biography.
· 2:24- Randy asks Lanny, “Okay, we’ve heard your formal bio, but tell us what makes you tick, what motivates you, what inspires you, or generally why you do what you do?”
· 3:08-Lanny describes tragic accidents involving electrical energy and tells some deep engaging stories about electrical safety accidents and how it shaped his goals for safety leadership and protecting people in the workplace.
· 8:12-Randy talks about the dangers of letting our guard down in industry when we achieve outstanding performance and asks Lanny for his perspective.
· 10:50-Randy quotes Mark Twain, “You can’t see with your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”
· 11:30-Randy describes Crew Resource Management training and the benefits.
· 12:47-Randy asks Lanny about his current projects and work since leaving DuPont and Lanny describes how he created an online masters level course on electrical safety and his work with IEEE.
· 15:30-Lanny talks about the importance of instilling a level of curiosity and expanding the ability to think critically about what is possible.
· 19:18-Randy asks Lanny, “If you could be granted one wish for leadership or organizational change/development what would it be?”
Book Recommendation: The Wright Brothers by David McCullough.