For over 30-years, DAVID SARKUS, MS, CSP has moved and motivated thousands of workers to become safer, healthier, and more productive. As a safety professional, he has won several honors, including a Best Practices Award for TRW Inc. and he has been named by Industrial Safety & Hygiene News (ISHN) as a Top 50 EHS Professional. David has written more than 100 articles and is a frequent contributor and featured author for publications such as ISHN and Professional Safety.
David also serves as Chief Servant Leader and founder of David Sarkus International Inc., a leading health and safety management consulting and training firm based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a speaker, David delivers keynotes, training programs, and consulting in a broad variety of industries. His experience, education, and leadership qualities have allowed him and his firm to successfully apply strategies and tactics within a diverse mix of work processes for more than 30 years. His customized safety interventions have produced reductions in key performance indicators from 35% to more than 85% over the previous year. He’s proven that results like these are not only possible but scalable and sustainable.
His first of five books, The Safety Coach®: Unleash the 7C's for World Class Safety Performance! is a best seller. This book also serves as the foundation for Coastal’s top-selling video: Safety Coach – which features Bobby Bowden, head football coach of the Florida State Seminoles, two-time national champion and college football’s all-time win leader.
David Sarkus provides a high-content performance sprinkled with humor and impactful storytelling. He relates effectively with men and women from all walks — from senior management to shop floor workers. As an author, speaker, consultant, and executive coach, David’s clients include some of the biggest and best run organizations in the world: Chevron-Texaco, DuPont, ExxonMobil, General Electric, H.J. Heinz, Pfizer, and Shell – to name only a few.
As a skilled professional speaker, David brings people together in ways that promote improved teamwork and positive changes in personal commitment. As a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) with advanced degrees in both safety management and organizational psychology, David is prepared and passionate about helping you succeed. Ultimately, his work will move your organization towards its vision for an accident-free culture!
The following keynotes / motivational talks are suited for most any audience — your hourly workers, supervisors, managers, and senior leaders.
Leadership, Culture, Coaching, and Communication
Leading from the Heart™ or Everyone’s a Safety Coach!™
It’s difficult for workers to trust and understand the kinds of principles that must be used to help individuals and teams work safer on a regular basis. In fact, some leaders don’t quite know where to begin! David reveals The 7C’s that anyone, in any organization, can use to help everyone achieve their very best. These 7 principles will help your organization move together in the same direction through a common vision for world-class safety performance!
Behind the Curtain to Zero-Incident Safety!™
Leaders drive culture and zero-incident success in safety but how is it accomplished? This talk addresses three primary categories that relate to leadership, engagement, and culture as well as more than 20 related strategies and tactics. These proven strategies and tactics have been used by numerous world-class organizations to reach zero and stay there for many, many years of sustainable success. These “behind the curtain” strategies and tactics will help your leaders develop a unique platform and execute a robust plan for your own zero-incident success!
Mental Toughness – The Critical Safety Edge™
Mental toughness is a very hot topic that needs to be embraced in order to reach higher levels of individual and group performance. It’s about getting knocked down and getting back up with greater resolve, focus, and energy. But it takes a certain mental fortitude or resilience not to cave into self-defeating thoughts that tell oneself not to “quit” or “take another path or shortcut.” It’s about not giving in to the possibilities of failure or quitting. Successful athletes, workers, managers, and executives need to have a well-developed mental edge, tenacity, and competitive drive that catapults them to higher levels of personal achievement and greater success in safety. Can it be learned or developed? You bet! Mental toughness can be strengthened, refined, and embraced as an individual and collective resource and your organization needs to know how.
Critical Conversations for Safety™
Many leaders think that feedback is feedback and will eventually lead to long term changes with regard to workers’ safety-related attitudes and actions. Well, that’s simply not true and all feedback and communications is not alike. In fact, different kinds of feedback will lead to different kinds of changes in the beliefs (attitudes) and behaviors (actions) of your workers. If you are looking to move people to deep and lasting changes, there’s a formula for success. In fact, David discusses three kinds of changes you should be seeking along with the specific types of communications that will aid in having “critical conversations.” These critical conversations are part of the feedback that leads to durable and lasting changes in your peoples’ lives – at work and away from it!
Be Courageous For Safety’s Sake!™
Being a part of something bigger than yourself or your dreams takes courage, strength, and persistence. And it takes courageous men and women to be safety leaders within their own companies. It takes courage to step-up and be different and at times, go against the grain. Workers draw courage and strength to be a part of vision for excellence in safety when they are appropriately challenged and given the principles to move forward. This talk will make you and your people laugh, learn, and step-out to be a courageous safety leader. You’ll hear an engaging and motivating message about being a coach, a caring leader, and a visionary — someone who can be an integral part of a zero-accident culture.
Servant Leadership and Safety!™
Leaders often struggle to find a sense of identity and purpose within their organizations. And it is a dilemma to fully understand what kinds of leadership principles and practices lead to outstanding safety results. Good leadership doesn’t have to be left unveiled and murky – it can be made clear and full of purpose. In this inspiring talk, David shares the core beliefs and principles that many leaders have discovered will impact the bottom-line in ways they never thought possible. Servant Leadership and safety are here to stay and this talk discusses why it works and that you can expect great results!
Personal Change and Organizational Change™
Hey – Let’s Talk About Change!™
Change is a constant within industry that often leads to fear frustration, and resistance from individuals and groups. How can organizations and their people work through various levels of safety-related change? David shares a simple three-step approach learned from his 20 years in safety that will inspire employees to embrace change and achieve greater results!
Teamwork Taking Your Team to the Top!™
One of the biggest reasons organizations fail to reach their safety potential is the lack of teamwork. Many organizations don’t recognize the key elements for team success. David reveals the five most important components that will bond people together and catapult organizations to world-class status!
PACE Yourself for Safety!™
Safety professionals understand that workers don’t always take personal responsibility for their safety and the safety of others. And at times, they are prone to not paying attention to the right kinds of things! But what separates your better safety performers from those who are less than safe? Often it’s “how” and “what they pay attention to” at work and at home. Elite athletes and outstanding safety performers in industry share a common formula for success — their ability to take control of their own thoughts and actions and to pay attention to the right things. These higher-performing individuals have the ability and know-how to pay attention to what’s really important. In this talk, you and your people will be inspired and will learn about three critical safety-concentration channels and how to use them. They will also learn how to take personal control at all times and to work through distractions. When your people understand that they need to take control of their own safety, and how to do it, great success in safety is sure to follow!
Female BlackHawk Helicopter Pilot and Warrant Officer for the United States Army
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