Just because someone says something is leadership doesn’t make it so. Similarly, it’s easy to label something as professional when it isn’t. Leading is either ethical or it isn’t leadership, you cannot have half-ethical leadership or a half ethical professional. Indeed, leadership without followership (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/following-leading-risk/ ) is simply one-way traffic and is most likely just some form of management. There is no professionalism unless it is ethical.
Leadership builds up others, enhances community, establishes trust and knows how to serve persons in fallibility and understanding. Put those few ethical outcomes together and you instantly know that this cannot include anything zero. If one’s ideology is zero it cannot inform leadership. If zero sets the discourse and numerics is your language then we know that personhood has been displaced by the prioritization of a number. If the safety book has zero in the title you can be sure its not professional neither is it about leadership.
One of the efficient ways the Nazis dehumanized persons was with numbers (https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/tattoos-and-numbers-the-system-of-identifying-prisoners-at-auschwitz). The best way to reduce a human to the value of an object is to take away their name and give them a number. The Khmer Rouge (http://www.killingfieldsmuseum.com/s21-victims.html) were brilliant at it. The beginning of dehumanizing someone is to take their name and give them another name. It becomes easy to kill someone when they are just a ‘rag head’. It’s how desensitization works (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/nov/19/australian-special-forces-involved-in-of-39-afghan-civilians-war-crimes-report-alleges). Taking away personhood is what numbers do and they do it very well.
When the language that guides risk and safety is a number you can be sure there is no leadership or professionalism going on. When all one cares about is getting accidents down to zero then personhood gets shifted to the background. Numerical talk is not leadership talk.
This is why followership is the beginning of leadership. We learn how to best treat others by how we like to be treated. And if you want to earn my respect as a leader at least get my name right.
Have you ever been to one of those parties where people get your name wrong, it’s pretty annoying isn’t it? It’s such a simple thing to get someone’s name right and there is nothing more important than how you are identified. I always know people who don’t know me because they call me Robert, those who know me call me Rob.
So, when all you see is someone preoccupied with a number, when the mantra is zero and the occupation is numerics walk away, there is no leadership there.