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Leadership Under Pressure: Creating Conscious Control with Anton Guinea

Leadership under pressure: creating conscious control



In this episode, we welcome Anton Guinea, a seasoned expert in leadership under pressure. With his formative and compelling experiences, Anton has dedicated himself to helping leaders become the best versions of themselves for their teams. Listen in as Anton shares valuable insights on maintaining emotional control and keeping calm under intense workplace pressure. Tune in to learn about Anton’s practical approaches to cultivating a blame-free environment, encouraging psychological and physical safety, and creating conscious control to lead effectively under pressure.


Real leaders leave a legacy. They capture the hearts and minds of their teams. Their origin story puts the safety and well-being of their people first. Great companies ubiquitously have safe yet productive operations. For those companies, safety is an investment, not a cost for the C-suite. It’s a real topic of daily focus. This is The Safety Guru with your host, Eric Michrowski. A globally recognized ops and safety guru, public speaker, and author. Are you ready to leave a safety legacy? Your legacy’s success story begins now.

Hi, and welcome to The Safety Guru. Today, I have a very exciting speaker joining us, Anton Guinea from Australia. He’s a coach, a consultant speaking on leadership under pressure. He’s got some amazing stories that have shaped his thinking in this space. We’ll get to those very soon. He focuses on working with leaders to deliver the best version of themselves. I probably destroyed your sentence in some way, shape, or form. Anton, very happy to have you with me on the show today.

Thanks for having me, Eric.

So, Anton, why don’t we start out with your story? Because it’s fascinating. You had three events that shaped your thinking. Why don’t we start there?

Yeah, cool. Thanks, Eric. First, at the age of 21, I was unlucky enough to get blown up in a switchboard. I was working at a chemical factory in Glastonbury. I’d finished my apprenticeship, so I was qualified as an electrician and couldn’t get work in town at the time. Finally, I did get a very short-term role in a shutdown of the chemical factory. I rushed a job. I was working with a tradesperson who we were working together, and we were working closely to put something or mount something in a switchboard. We were working on switchboards. We’d isolated it, we’d test it for dead. So, we’d done everything right, we thought. The problem was that I was rushing that job, and I used a steel ruler to measure where we were going to put those components in that switchboard. And that was a really, really poor decision. And it was a poor safety decision. And it was a decision that was based on the wrong priority. So, the priority was to, in my mind at that moment, was to get a pat on the back or get a job because I was in a short-term role, to impress.

So, all those other things that shouldn’t be on your mind when you’re doing work in a switchboard that’s potentially fatal, sadly. Even though we’d isolated ourselves, which I’ll tell you that story in a sec. But as I started measuring, the steel ruler got in behind the main switch and either got close enough or contacted live electrical buzz bars, and it blew everything up, including me. So I was exposed to, we now think about 20,000 degrees C of carbonized air caused by that arc flash. And my hands and my face and my neck… So, I had long sleeve cotton clothes on, so I wore work clothes, but still, my face and my hands and my neck and my arms were burnt really badly. So, I had about 15 % of my body was second-degree burnt. Burns pain Eric, is something that I won’t even try to get your listeners to understand. It’s a horrible experience. And I hope for your sake and for theirs that no one close to you, or you have been through Burns pain because it’s just a horrific thing. And they can’t do much for the pain on site. So, I got down to the nurse’s station and she could use water and tried really hard. Got in an ambulance, got to the hospital, where they could use some morphine and take some of that pain away. And then it was into the recovery for the next five weeks. I say that I was doing a five-minute job. I was trying to save a few minutes and I went home about five weeks later. I went to intensive care with the arc flash, which is what it was. You get burned internally as well. There was some concern about my internal organs and the ambulance drivers shared with me, God love them, you can die up to a few days later from these injuries. I said, oh, thanks. Thanks, team. Great information. I was off to intensive care, and we were trying to see what the internal damage was. Fortunately, once I got to intensive care and they started checking that it wasn’t too bad, then it was off to the burn, and in Brisbane, where I got some really good care down there. And part of that healing process was all of that dead skin had to be removed because it was obviously charred, it was cooked from the explosion. And the new skin had to come through from underneath. And that experience of debriding, it’s called, where they would basically remove all of the skin on your hands and your face and do that quite specifically with tweezers and scissors, so they get under the skin where they can and pull it off. And then they cut it off and get a nice little pile of your skin happening in a little silver kidney-shaped medical container. It’s quite a horrific process. It was something that I had a lot of painkillers for. They gave me this thing called a suppository. That was interesting. I still look back on that. It was a really painful experience and just an emotionally painful experience, probably too, just getting a facelift and watching people peel my skin off. Then, of course, there’s the rehab because, with burns, your skin tightens up. It was a pretty horrible four to five weeks recovering Eric. And I’ll just go back to that story I was going to tell you before because I said we’d isolated and tested for dead. We’d isolated the panel that we were working in and tested that. But the whole board, the switchboard itself, was not isolated. And the buzz bars were coming in through the main switch.

So, the line side was isolated, but the live side was still alive. And the steel ruler got in behind the main switch where those buzz bars were because it was so thin, and it was so flexible. And you couldn’t even see the gap in between the main switch. It just got in behind it and all of a sudden caused this massive arc flash. And yes, it really was. horrible. And you don’t see it or you don’t… I don’t remember being in an arc in the fireball because they come and go in 0.5 of a second. So, these things just come out boom and then they’ve gone again. They self-extinguish. They literally bang in and out. And in that 0.5 of a second, you’re just exposed to all of that heat energy and that carbonized air. And the air is actually electrified as well. So, it’s ionized because of the short circuit or the electrical process that’s going on. So, they say you get electric shock at the same time, which is interesting. So, you get electric shock at the same time, you get the arc flash and the arc burn. So that was interesting. I was lucky that where I was holding the ruler, it looked like, and it felt like the electrical current actually didn’t go across my heart for some reason.

Once they did the checks, my heart was okay, and we couldn’t find any exit wounds on my body. Very lucky and grateful that I didn’t lose my life that day. I’m here to tell the story.

You had two other boom events. I remember we talked about it.

I love the word boom event because that’s what the switchboard did, went boom. Then 10 years later, probably, I was actually working in a copper smelter. After that first event, that first boom event, Eric, as you can imagine, it’s really horrible and it’s really hard coming back from that. There’s this thing called post-traumatic stress, right? I really feel like I probably was in that space for a few years. I couldn’t talk about the incident for 10 years. I was down about it. I was down about it. I didn’t want to be an electrician anymore. I did it for a few years on a mine site because it was low voltage, so I thought, oh, that’s safer. But I was never really a safe worker because I was so scared of electricity when I was on the tools then. So, it worked out that I wanted to get off the tools and I wanted to climb the ladder of corporate success as you do and be a leader. So, for some reason, that switchboard was the spark that changed a few things in my life. And one of them was, I’m not going to work as a spark anymore.

I’m going to do something with my life now, which I realized that I hadn’t been. One of those things was study. The other one was doing leadership. I got off the tools as quickly as I can and got into some maintenance planning roles and some leadership roles. And a few years later, I was age 29, so it’s probably eight years later, I’d done a degree and I’d done some other stuff. I was finally at the superintendent manager level in an organization. I’ll never forget that this is 20 years ago. It’s a bit of a legacy of what we call 1900s leaders, or the old-school leaders. And this refinery was very old and some of the leaders in it were a little bit old school. I was a new leader. I was trained sure. I was learning leadership. And what happened was I went to a management team meeting, and I was leaving in a manager role and I was sitting with the team of the senior leadership team. I’d made a really significant mistake on some work that I’d done on a budget. And the mistake was my budget was over by seven times because I was calculating it in yen, not Australian dollars.

Just a slight mistake. Many millions of dollars, right? But I remember sitting in that little management team meeting and sharing that mistake. And the management team went nuts. An abusive, aggressive, abruptly. And it was like, in your face swearing like that, really that 1900’s leadership style. And it was ugly. I still say to this day that it hurt my heart that, what do we pay you for? You’re this and you’re that. It was really hard to deal with in that time because I just didn’t have those skills at the time. And it was one of those moments, and it wasn’t the only time that it happened on that particular site. And it was one of those periods in my life where I went, you know what? Achieving all these goals, sometimes they’re not all their cracked up to be. You get to this point, and you go, Was that worth it? Was it worth all the effort to be abused? And to be, yeah, I’d made some mistakes, but I would have loved to be coached and mentored rather than brutalized. Abused. Absolutely. Brutalized, emotionally. And I actually, it wasn’t long after that I jumped out of employment because I said, you know what?

If that’s the way you’ve got to be a senior leader, that’s not for me. Now remember, this is two decades ago. I made a call, a conscious decision to actually help leaders be better than that. So, I made a decision to actually go out and be the person that did something about old school leaders. And I’ve been on a mission since then. If you’re an old school leader, I’m coming for you, basically. And if you want to be a new school leader, and if you want to be a little bit more emotionally connected and have conscious control and not think it’s okay to go and abuse or be aggressive and be abruptly, come and talk to me and we can work with you. Or if you’ve got a leader like that, I’m here to help you and your team deal with those types of leadership styles. And that’s the best version of yourself. That was beautifully put when you said that at the start of the session. I want to help leaders be those good humans. And that’s leadership, just being a good human. And so that second boom event, Eric, was such a game changer because I was so career focused.

I was so driven to do leadership. And then to see poor leadership, the decisions each other. One of the decisions was, that’s how I’m never going to lead. I will never ever lead a human.

And we often we learn from our worst leaders how not to be probably sometimes better than the best leaders we’ve had, unfortunately.

That’s right. We never remember the ones in the middle. We remember the really great ones who made us feel great. And then we remember the really poor ones who didn’t. And so I say leaders, be memorable for the right reasons. Eric. So that was the second boom event, mate, to work for really crappy leaders that just changed my whole career trajectory. And now I’m self-employed and I’ve been working on leaders keeping their calm ever since then.

In terms of calm, you talk about cool, calm, and collected. The topic you cover is really around leadership under pressure. Every leader has seen pressure at some point in time. Sometimes there’s a major event that pops in. Sometimes there’s a crisis that you’re dealing with. So, tell me a little bit about some of the tools and tactics that those great leaders drive when they’re under pressure.

Love it. Can I lean into that just quickly with the event first? And I’ll tell you. Absolutely. So, two years ago, 25th of May 2021, I was on a… So, I was consulting on a power station site. And literally, the plant went boom. It’s all over the internet. You can go and Google all this information. There was a major turbine on that power station that blew up the turbine shaft separating from this machine. It was a world-scale event. It never happens. And I feel sorry for the plant that it happened in. Fortunately, no fatalities. Fortunately, no injuries. And obviously, two years later, that turbine’s still not on the back into service, I believe now. But it was so scary, Eric, because the noise was horrific. The offices were close to the plant. There was a whole range of other flammable materials around that. The building literally blew up that the turbine was in and we could see it still exploding as we were evacuating the plant. The problem was that because the turbine went down and they lost power to the site, you couldn’t actually do a roll call. You didn’t know who was on.

The spot. Oh, right. Because you had no power.

So, how do you do you do that then? And it was clipboards. It was pen and paper. And on that side, it was a small country town. And you had brothers and sisters and wives because it’s a small community. So, people didn’t know whether their loved ones were hurt. It was a scary, scary, scary, scary time. And at the same time, though, with the leadership under pressure hat on, I was watching those leaders respond to that event. I was watching the general manager. I was watching their senior leadership staff gather the troops, pull everyone together, and make sure we were safe. Eric, they did such a good job. They just nailed it. From then, for me, it’s been… That was the example for me. That was a crisis event. I remember that was a world scale event and well managed. Now, in answer to your question, what did they do? T o me, the first thing was there was this amount of calm that was across the place. I always use the word calm now because I just felt calm. The skill set was for me, being in control of your faculties. Now, what I mean by that is that emotional control drives behavioral control.

There is a skill to emotional control, as we know. And we now know from the Daniel… So, I’ll probably bring a bit of theory into it now, if that’s okay. Because since then, as you know, I’m now doing pretty much PhD research into leadership under pressure because I really want to get inside people’s heads and do the research to validate a lot of the work that I’m doing. So, there’s this conscious control or this emotional control piece where the first thing we need to do to be in emotional control is to be able to describe our emotional state, to be able to put language and words around our emotions. We know from Daniel Goleman’s research in emotional intelligence that even writing it down or talking about it or being able to speak in emotions helps us to control our emotional state and have this conscious control around our emotional state because that drives our behavioral state. Step number one, Eric, is to understand that you are now in amygdala hijack, which means that you’re in a fight or flight response, which means that your pituitary glands have sent a message to your adrenal glands, which is released cortisol, which is stress hormone, and you are now high on cortisol.

And now, it’s very easy for you to get out of control. And your body wants you to. So, it’s sent all of its blood and energy to your outer extremities so that you can fight or flight as you need to, which is obviously a primitive response pattern. Now, to be able to combat an amygdala hijack is about being able to understand that we’re in this emotional state and then regulate that emotional state. Now, the way that we regulate that emotional state is through our language, and it’s through our breath. Now, and this is the short version of probably a two-day program of lead. You had a lead under pressure. The first thing is in our language, talk in emotions, but don’t talk in too powerful of words. We don’t want to talk about when we’re under stress, we’re under pressure. We don’t want to use words that have too much emotional power in them. So, oh, Jesus, we’re going to die, or we’re going to… This is a tragedy, or this is a catastrophe. So, our language will drive then what’s going on inside us, because… And it will drive what’s going on inside us and those people around us.

So, if you use big, catastrophic words or big, powerful words, all of a sudden you heighten other people’s emotional state as well. So, we want to be really aware of our language. And the first thing that goes, Eric, when we’re under stress or under duress is our breath because we start to breathe very shallowly. Right. Now, if I could say to leaders, the one skill if you did nothing else after listening to Eric’s podcast today, learn to breathe. Now, we were born. We all popped out. From a creation and evolution perspective, let’s cover both sides of that so I don’t offend anyone. We pop out and one of the first things that babies do is they g ag. As soon as their lungs hit oxygen, we g ag. We take our first breath and it’s called the g ag reflex. And that’s the only breathing training most of us ever got. And we learn the rest on our own. And leaders under pressure forget the importance of their breath, and they forget the importance, or they forget how much their breath is required to make sensible, smart, controlled, consciously controlled decisions. Y our brain uses 20 % of the oxygen that you inhale. 20 % of the oxygen goes to this 1.3 kilo lump of mass in our head, gray matter. 1.3 kilos, 20 % of the oxygen, 20 % of the calories.


Now, given that the first thing that goes when we’re trying to make these decisions when we’re under stress is our breath, because we’re breathing so shallowly, what we got to do is we’ve got to take a step back and we’ve got to start breathing properly. What’s breathing properly mean to you? Well, there’s a whole range of breathing techniques, but the message is to breathe in a way that you feel relaxed. You can relax yourself with your breathing, which will help your breath, help your speaking and help your language. So, the first thing that goes when we’re under pressure is our ability to speak properly. That’s only because we’re not breathing properly. Sure. Now, by oxygenating our body properly, which means breathing, belly breathing, slow breathing, and holding breathing, all of a sudden our brain is full of oxygen, which it needs, and we are more relaxed. And we know that when we’re relaxed, we make better decisions. And the world could be falling down around us. We know that breathwork changes our brains. And it’s called, I call it aerobic decision making, decision making with oxygen, like doing aerobics. Not anaerobic, which is without oxygen, but aerobic decision making.

Great. Now, the other skill that I’m about to, next Wednesday, I’ll be submitting a paper to a journal, I think, in the States, public service psychology journal. So, I’m going to submit a paper on leadership and all of this stuff. And one of the skill sets is, once we’ve got our breathing right, once we’re in conscious control, there’s this concept called normative competence. Normative competence. Which is tied to decision making, and it’s tied to decision making that is focused on the humans that are involved, the future of this particular boom event. So, it’s really easy to get sucked into the moment, but we’ve always got to have a forward focus. What we know about decision making and crisis events is the more we can have a forward focus, Eric, the more we can be looking to the future. Yes, we’ve got to… Yes, and leaders will be listening to this going, Hold the phone. Or you’ve told me so far as to breathe, and I get that.

And. Language. And language, absolutely. And slow your body language. Slow your body down. Slow down, literally slow down. Sit down if you can, because you want to be as relaxed as possible. Now, the next thing is normative confidence, which is decision making. And yes, you’ve got to deal with what’s going on right now. You’ve got to deal with that. We’ve got to contain the crisis event. But at the end of the day, we’ve also got to be looking forward. We’ve got to be saying, the decisions that I make now will affect us in the future. And what we’ve got to be looking at is the humans involved. Let’s look at the humans involved and let’s unpack the way that our decisions are going to impact them. So, leaders can tend to forget that as much they’re stressed. But what about their teams, Eric? What about everyone around them who’s also extremely stressed? And this is the problem for leaders. They get wrapped up in the organization stuff, or they get wrapped up in the political stuff, or they get wrapped up in how they’re feeling. The easiest way to have conscious control and emotional control is to have a forward focus and think about other humans.

Think about the impact of our decisions on others. How will this decision impact other humans? When we can get to that point, when we’re actually thinking about impacts, outcomes, and we’re thinking forward, we’re not just thinking in the moment, normative competence, decision making with a future impact focus. And then that will help other people stay calm around us as well. Because what we don’t want to do as leaders is we don’t want to incite, we don’t want to inflame a situation. People’s emotional state, right? We want to help them stay calm and collected. Now, what we know is there’s this thing called emotional contention. And what emotional contention is, is our emotions are mirrored by those around us. So the more that we can stay in control, and this is the beautiful part about being in conscious control for leaders, the more leaders can stay in control, the better their teams will, too. Because while leaders are out of control, this emotion is contagious, the energy that goes with this and the energy that comes through in the language.

All goes towards driving other people’s energy state up. So, what we want to do is we want to… And leaders need to be so focused on other humans that they can actually see what’s going on for them. This is part of being in control where you can think fast, and talk slowly. How’s this person going? How’s that person? How’s my leadership team going? How’s my disaster management team going? Leaders need to be that focused on not only the situation but the other people around them. I think sometimes that gets forgotten as well.

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I think quite a bit there. I think the altruistic looking at others gets you also more grounded in terms of it’s not about me and my emotions. It’s about the broader group. Definitely. Let’s unpack a little bit more. You said something about think fast, talk slow. Tell me more about that idea because I think that’s also an equally important element when it comes to how you respond under pressure.

Think fast, talk slow to me is the summary of the Daniel Goleman model. Daniel Goleman talked about self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness, and social regulation. So that when you’re looking at someone else, Eric, you can actually be thinking about what they’re experiencing at the moment while you’re talking to them. Now, to me, it is the absolute epitome of multitasking. It’s multitasking.

It’s tough.

Which is tough, right? And we say there’s no such thing as multitasking because we’re task-switching. I say when we’re talking to someone, we’re multitasking because we’re having a conversation with ourselves at the same time that we’re talking to another human. And the thing is, we have triggers. So, there’s stuff that you might say that might trigger my emotional state. When we’re heightened, it’s easy to trigger people, especially when we’re in a boom event. I might say something that triggers your emotional state. And even for those listening, I just watched where Eric’s eyes went then. And so that’s part of thinking fast and talking slow. What do those body language movements mean? When I say something, what does that response mean? And if Eric gets triggered when I’m talking to him, make sure that I’m aware enough of that so that I can change, regulate, or influence your emotional state in the right way, so that I’m not inflammatory, if that makes sense, especially at the moment. Sure. So, I know what I’m doing to either trigger your emotional state or bring it down. So, think fast, talk slow. What’s the other person experiencing when they’re with me?

Is what I’m saying landing? Am I speaking too fast? Am I speaking too slowly? Is my intonation right for this particular person? Are they with me? Are we connected? Are we in rapport? Am I communicating clearly enough? Because when we’re under pressure, the instruction has to be very specific, and it’s got to be clearly communicated. And we got to make sure that message is clearly delivered and clearly understood. So that’s thinking fast, talking slow.

That helps. Absolutely. And let’s touch a little bit on blame. So, in a lot of events, you talked about your second boom event, which was blaming Anton for everything. What’s the element of blame? Because we have a tendency to gravitate towards blame when something bad happened. Tell me a little bit about what should be.

The right response. Yeah, great. Thanks, Eric. The human species, we tend to look for the person that caused it, that did it, that is responsible. Instead of looking at the organizational situation, circumstances that could have led to this boom, from occurring as well. I know even back when my switchboard event occurred, remember the general manager coming up and saying, Look, I was in intensive care in Gladstone, and though I’d started to come around, and it was either that day or the next day, and he came up to see me in intensive care, and he said, I just want to let you know it’s all good. We can’t fault you, or something like that. I know, right?

It’s an interesting comment.

I know. It was something like that. And I thought, oh, so you’re trying to? And I didn’t know what had happened. They’d worked out that there was a little gap around the switchboard. That’s how I found that out because I actually didn’t know that. I didn’t know what had happened. But the thing was, the first response for most people when they’re investigating or when they’re looking for causal factors, we go to humans. Now, it’s natural because… Well, it’s not really. Yeah, it is natural. 96 to 99 % of workplace incidents and injuries are blamed on or caused by human error. Human. Behavior. Even at that level. So, you just read the internet and you read that, all of a sudden you think, you’re conditioned, the humans wrong. Can we get to zero harm? No, because we’re all human and we’re all going to make a mistake. Well, yeah, I get that. And so, there’s this whole we’re human, we’re going to make mistakes, and so we got to blame someone when something happens. The thing about that is that you don’t look far enough back. You don’t look at the organization or you don’t look at everything else.

And when you blame people, what you do is you actually stop them from reporting. You stop them from contributing. So, you don’t have psychological safety in your organization. And psychological safety is a big deal. So, if people don’t feel safe to report, we know that, and you know this, that safety cultures, strong safety cultures are predicated on two things. One of them is reporting culture. How easy is it to report? How willing are people to report? The next one is, how easy is it to communicate about safety? And how willing are people to do that? So especially at the front line, is safety okay to talk about? Or are interactions, and are they an intrusion into our just getting our work done? Sure. When you’re measuring safety culture, you’re measuring those two things. When you blame people, you get people not to report because they’re fearful. Blame culture is just driven fear. They drive psychological safety down, and they drive the wrong message in an organization that if I report this, I’ll get sacked or I’ll get disciplined rather than having a learning experience. Now, I get it. Some of your listeners will be thinking, Yeah, hold on a second.

There are sometimes that people make intentional mistakes. Now, if you make an intentional breach, any investigation flowchart starts with, what was the intent? Was it to break a procedure, or was it just a mistake? What was the intention behind it? If there’s an intentional breach, that’s a different discussion. Most of the time it’s not, though. Most of the time it’s not an intentional breach. We’ve actually got to use a coaching mindset, more leadership rather than a blame mindset. Does that answer that question?

Yeah, absolutely. I think there are two leaders I worked with a while back and both made a shift where instead of finding fault with the individual, started blaming their role in it. Even if they weren’t the final fault, they started recognizing some of the elements of the actions that they did and how it impacted the outcome. What’s incredibly powerful there is that when the senior leaders started speaking that way, other leaders started taking their part of ownership. The element in terms of if you really want to drive safety ownership, it’s incredibly powerful because when you start removing the blame, recognizing the lots of people are part of it, then others are willing to be vulnerable as well.

Great summary. Beautiful summary. Taking that Extreme Ownership, great book to Lave Babin and Joko Will was the other author.

Jocko Will, yes. A lot of conversations around psychological safety. We’ve talked a little bit about removing blame, which is an element, a contributor to our psychological safety. Tell me a little bit more about how that links back to leadership under pressure.

Thank you. Great question. Psych safety, Timothy R. Clarke, four stages, inclusion safety, learner safety, contributor safety, challenge your safety. Are we included? Do we feel included? Is it safe for us to learn in this organization and learn from our mistakes? That’s the blame piece. Is it safe for us to contribute to be the best version of ourselves, to bring our whole selves to work? And is it safe for us to challenge the status quo? Now, poor leadership doesn’t include blames. People don’t feel like they can contribute and don’t ever challenge the status quo. status quo in a poor leadership organization or poor lead, it’s a poorly led team. In a team with great leadership, come in, inclusion. We know that there’s no groupthink. Groupthink came out of the NASA Challenger disaster where the junior engineer wasn’t listened to. And so, this is inclusion in decision making. Defer to expertise in the organization. Who’s the right person, doesn’t matter what level they are, to include them in the decision. If we need that information, bring those people up to the table. Learner, can we learn from our mistakes? Have we got a learning culture in the organization in general terms?

Do we send people away to conferences? Do we give them leadership coaching and mentoring? Do we help people grow and develop? We know it’s a fundamental human need to grow and contribute. And then the contribution safety is about not feeling like… So, in Australia, Eric, we’ve got this thing called a tall poppy syndrome so that if you do a good job, people try to pull you back down. You don’t want to stick your head out of the trench because suddenly, you’ll get shot. I know we’ve got a weird culture like that over here. We’ve got it. And you don’t want to have too big an ego. You don’t want to shine too much at times. This is contributor safety, right? I know it’s weird. There are some people that… Sometimes at trade level or in our… What do you call them? Craft teams, people have got to slow down, to slow down and work at the same level as the rest of the team, so that the project goes longer or so that they… You know what I mean? They don’t shine. And that’s contributor safety. You’ve got to be out. You’ve got to be able to do your best work and not feel like you’re going…

But it’s a version of yourself, right?

And then challenge your safety. Is it okay to challenge the norms? Is it okay to say to your leader, hey, I think there’s a better way to do this? And will your leader listen? So psychological safety is feeling safe to take interpersonal risks. Thanks to Amy Edmondson for that great definition. Interpersonal risk, which means speaking up. In short, psychological safety is, have you got the right people saying the right things because they’re comfortable speaking up and challenging and contribute.

Makes sense. Anton, thank you very much for coming, sharing your story. Leadership, member pressure, an important topic is when you’re in a world that safety is relevant matters, you’re going to be faced with some pressure, hopefully not of your boom events, particularly your first and your third boom events. But it’s good to be prepared to reflect, to have the skills to think about how I describe. So, I recognize the triggers.

Really think about how I regulate my breathing. You talked about that it resonated with me, the language I’m using, not big words. We’re going to die or anything of that nature. You talked a lot about the breathing and then really the forward focus and looking at the people and the humans in front of you. I think those are good takeaways from your message. Anton, thank you so much. If somebody wants to get in touch with you, learn some more about what you do.

How can they do that? The Guinea group is probably the best place to do that on the internet, Eric, or email me, Anton, at I would love to hear from many of your listeners. I would love to talk them through how we could… If they want some support around leading under pressure, psychology safety, or any of the other work that we do with leaders, please reach out. That’d be great to hear from them. Perfect. Thanks for having me too. Really appreciate it. Great questions, great stuff. Thanks again.

Thank you.

Thank you for listening to the Safety Guru on C-Suite Radio. Leave a legacy, distinguish yourself from the pack, and grow your success. Capture the hearts and minds of your teams and elevate your safety. Like every successful athlete, top leaders continuously invest in their safety leadership with an expert coach to boost safety performance. Begin your journey at Come back in two weeks for the next episode with your host, Eric Michrowski. This podcast is powered by Propulo Consulting.

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Anton Guinea is an expert in the field of leadership under pressure, a best-selling author, and a motivational speaker. Anton nearly lost his life in a workplace accident and has turned that experience into something that others can learn from. He suffered through teams that had poor leadership and high conflict, which pushed him to studying a Bachelor of Business in HR and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is doing masters level research into the psychology of leadership, teams, and leading under pressure. Anton partners with leaders and businesses who are under pressure to help them create conscious control so that they can create psychologically safe and high-performing teams. Anton’s speaking, training, consulting, and coaching programs are based on psychology, neurology, and biology, and they provide leaders with real and relevant strategies to improve their teamwork and leadership.
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