Guru originates in Sanskrit (Hindi and Punjabi) and refers to a wise elder, mentor or guide (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guru ). Yet the word is thrown about safety as if the word means ‘hero’ or ‘superstar’.
One of this things Safety is so sloppy with is language. It thinks it can spruik any nonsense gobbledygook (https://safetyrisk.net/believe-the-impossible-and-speak-nonsense-to-people/) to people and make its own sense of language. (BTW, Linguistics. Semiotics and Para-linguistics are not included in any safety qualification globally). This is why Safety most often presents such contradictory and incongruent messaging in what it does (https://safetyrisk.net/method-and-message-congruence-in-risk/), then expects no consequence or any by-products.
One of the best ways to analyse what Safety believes in is to observe its common language, semiotics and grammar. Whenever the expression ‘safety leadership’ is used you never see language about: humility, care, helping, wisdom or mutuality. There’s no hyphen between following-leading (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/following-leading-risk/). Similarly, there is no language about ethics or moral enactment even when books are published about safety leadership as care! Indeed, even when the word is used it is never defined or given ethical context.
I find it so amusing that Safety constantly loves to gravitate to religious language eg. Guru and, try to sustain the myth of ‘safety science’. Let me tell you, any promotion of zero ideology is an act of faith-belief not science. This is why the language of ‘belief’ floods the Discourse of zero as was obviously demonstrated at the safety Congress 2017:
This picture captures a Hillsong-like frenzy at a safety congress! No wonder zero is defined by global zero as a religious apocalyptic (https://safetyrisk.net/the-spirit-of-zero/). The Spirit of Zero indeed! Which is why the ordinary everyday safety person doesn’t believe any of it (https://safetyrisk.net/update-on-zero-survey-just-believe/ ).
I can’t wait for the pictures to come out from Sydney in November at the next world ‘zero event’ (https://safetyrisk.net/method-and-message-congruence-in-risk/). I wonder how many gurus will be there? I doubt any. I have looked at the program and there is no sense of humility, care, helping, wisdom ore ethics in any of it.
The Guru in Sanskrit is a ‘humble seeker’, not a hero (https://safetyrisk.net/no-gurus-no-stars-no-heroes-needed-in-safety/). Guru’s are NOT ‘tellers’, they are listeners and, none of this stuff spruiked as ‘safety leadership’ is about listening.
The reality is Safety doesn’t need this kind of nonsense language. Most of what you see being spruiked about ‘safety leadership’ is ego-centric power-centric nonsense. Yet, people flock to this kind of stuff, empty their wallets believing they might learn something.
What is most clear, is that those who use the language of ‘guru’ in safety are NOT. This is how fraudulence is marketed in safety (https://safetyrisk.net/safety-fraudulence/ ).
The way the language of ‘guru’ is used in safety is cultic (https://safetyrisk.net/understanding-cults-and-safety-zero/). Most often the motive in the marketing of this kind of ‘safety guru’ stuff is making money. Come in suckers, listen to a safety not-guru, speak in arrogance about power to over-ride others (https://safetyrisk.net/safety-gives-me-the-right-to-over-ride-your-rite/) and btw, swipe your credit card.
If you would rather learn about an ethic of safety leadership you can read here: https://www.humandymensions.com/product/following-leading-risk/ (for free download).
If you want to know about real leadership in risk that envisions mutuality with others in an ethic of care, helping, listening and wisdom in tackling risk, you can read here: (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/envisioning-risk-seeing-vision-and-meaning-in-risk/ (also for free download)
If you want to know about humble enquiry, not ‘telling’ you can read Edgar Schein’s wonderful work here: https://www.bkconnection.com/static/Humble_Inquiry_EXCERPT.pdf
If you really think you want to be a guru, perhaps read this:
But whatever you do, if you want to learn about real leadership in risk, don’t go to anything that spruiks guru language as ‘safety leadership’.