As many of you have heard me say, I believe that taking care of your people is essential to success. I’ve told the story that in the U.S. Marine Corps, all leaders are asked to do two things: accomplish the mission and take care of your people. Usually, this is followed with “If you do No. 2, your people will take care of No. 1.”
An important part of taking care of your people and accomplishing your mission, is ensuring, throughout your organization, people feel comfortable speaking up, without fear of reprisal. We have seen first-hand the effects fear of reprisal can have on a culture, as it was a theme for both the Challenger and Columbia mishaps, and we need to ensure that we’ve learned from our past and cultivate an environment where speaking up is not just accepted, but applauded.
As we approach the 15-year anniversary of the Columbia accident, I encourage you to review all the data available in the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and consider how you can enact positive change at every level in your organization to create an open, safe environment for everyone.