Cos Bruyn talks about his experience of leading his organisation after a workplace fatality, and what it taught him about leadership.
Moral duties before legal duties
Cos says he believes there are three things a CEO needs to focus on in a crisis like this:
- Being present and showing sustained support for the victim’s family and workmates
- Ensuring the lessons from the tragedy are identified, quickly shared and acted on
- Putting moral obligations to protect your people ahead of your duty to protect your company’s legal position.
He says when something like a fatality occurs, the CEO needs to lead the investigation into what happened, and to take personal responsibility for ensuring the lessons learnt are acted on.
Watch: Leading Through Tragedy (2015)
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“My first duty of care is always to my employees. My duty to protect the company’s reputation comes second to that.”