David Sarkus

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The Safety Coach®

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2 Video(s) By This Presenter

David Sarkus – Motivational Speaker
Safety Coach & Keynote Motivational Promo Video

9 Programs By This Presenter

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.

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!

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!

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!

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.

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!

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!

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!

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!


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“I have had the great fortune to have met and worked with David ‘Coach’ Sarkus. David’s message has helped me truly understand how to exert ‘influential leadership’ and effectively teach and help operational leaders to become ‘Safety Coaches.’ His approach and material content has changed the way I manage safety in a way that has created durable and lasting change. If you want to dramatically improve the safety performance of your organization, you should strongly consider working with David Sarkus, The Safety Coach®. Don’t accept the impostors!”

— Moen Incorporated

“Just a quick note of thanks for the tremendous job you did at our four Leadership Conferences. Our participant evaluations told the story – our participants graded us out above the 97th percentile in achieving conference goals… David we will be calling on you in the future, as a key element in our leadership development program.”

— Eagle Materials

“David is a passionate and talented speaker who can bring out the best in the leadership team. His real world examples and straight forward delivery kept our whole group engaged for the whole session. I would highly recommend David to any organization.”

— CEO/President Cottrell, Inc.

“I had followed David Sarkus for many years before he came to speak for my company, Alta Forest Products. His story often inspired me to press further with safety and leadership. In 2015 Dave spoke at the Washington Governor’s Conference—the first time that I saw his speak at a live venue. His message was powerful and hit home to the group of safety committee members that I had brought with me. I finally had the opportunity to have Dave speak for Alta Forest Products, and he delivered his story in his usual manner—with power, emotion, excitement, and influence. He will have you laughing one minute and crying the next. Most of all, he will have you taking a hard look at how you view safety and leadership. He will push you to change your paradigm about safety. He will push you to make your culture for safety one that others will talk about – positively of course. Finally, he will make you think about how you lead others toward creating a lasting impression for safety. I cannot recommend Dave Sarkus enough.”

— Alta Forest Products LLC Corporate Safety Manager

“As a Kruger board member, but primarily as an interested party, I wanted to complement you on an excellent presentation. You really related with the audience and they listened to what you said. Not bad for a kid from ‘Bituminous Coal Country’. Great job!!!”

— Board of Advisors Kruger Inc.

“David spent a few hours with our leadership team to talk about the importance of safety and ways that we could get our employees more engaged in our safety program. His passion and expertise really had an impact on our group and a year later we have cut our TRIR in half and have a number of facilities that have gone more than a year without a recordable incident. David’s presentation was the catalyst and a great kickoff for our renewed emphasis on safety.”

— Vice President – Division Manager McGrath RentCorp

“If you are looking for a keynote speaker for a safety function, David Sarkus would be an excellent choice. Mr. Sarkus is an outstanding speaker that has a keen ability to capture and maintain an audience’s attention. He demonstrates an undeniable passion for worker safety. Mr. Sarkus interjects humor with a powerful message of caring and coaching. He hit a homerun at our event. David Sarkus is The Safety Coach®!”

— General Manager, Safety, Health and Training Mountaineer Gas Company

“One of the best motivational speeches I’ve heard in a long, long time. In my 30 some years with this organization it was TREMENDOUS!”

— Charter Member Safety & Health Network / Kentucky Governor’s Safety & Health Conference

“Please relay our extensive gratitude to David Sarkus for his excellent presentation. We, at Arizona Public Service Co., take safety very seriously. David’s message was powerful, poignant and personal. It was refreshing to experience a speaker that holds employee safety in as high of regard as we at APS do. David sends his message through personal stories, historical events, and most important of all, humor. Commanding a room full of lineman and electricians is no feat for the faint of heart. To have them talking about how great David was afterwards is another level, entirely. Captivating and informative are words that describe the experience. We at APS are thankful for the opportunity to have David and look forward to having him back in the future…”

— T & D Safety Committee Arizona Public Service Co.
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