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Ete Pinnick Supply Chain Director

– “Safety is your DNA, Quality is what we sell”, says Ete Pinnick

By: Smart Olawale
“Everybody sees the unsafe condition,  but they don’t fix the unsafe condition until it leads to an injury.”
Ete Pinnick Supply Chain Director
Ete Pinnick

Ete Pinnick, the Supply Chain Director of Mondelez International (Cadbury), who is renowned for his influential leadership and his evident passion for Health and Safety has advised business leaders to prioritize safety communication and output quality.

According to the veteran manufacturing bigwig, leaders who place and lay emphasis on conversation about the quantity and volume of outputs more than occupational safety and quality will hinder the company’s growth and spend time addressing unforeseen incidents.

Speaking to HSENations Chief Editor, Femi Da-silva and Mr Wale Ogunyebi of MTC Enterprises Development Ltd in a courtesy visit at his office in Lagos, he recounted his experience as a Supply Chain Director who is concerned about safety.

He opined that most fatal workplace accidents are owing to negligence.

“Everybody sees the unsafe condition,  but they don’t fix the unsafe condition until it leads to an injury.”

“All accidents are preventable. It’s about correcting behaviours, identifying [threat] conditions and correcting them”.

“Safety is your DNA, Quality is what we sell”, he explained.

Need For HSE Managers to Show Business Concern

Mr Ete Pinnick advised HSE practitioners to drive safety initiative in their company by showing interest in the profit-making of the company.

He said, “Get interested in the Profit and Loss. Get interested in what management is interested in. Then, you can influence them (the management) better and get their support”.

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“Why sit down there and all you want to tell me is what you want to do at a time that the business is not growing profitably? Anything you say then will sound like you are telling a story”.

“If you really want to make real change [through the] leadership, get interested in the business. See where you can help. And you will have more leverage and more influence over leadership and management decision to drive safety”, he said.

Importance of Leadership and Self Development

Ete Pinnick made a decision to sit on the board of a multinational company when he was in University.

Though he acknowledged that his wife influenced his career decision, he also stated that his mentors and coaches played a huge role in his character formation and the realization of the dream.

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He advised leaders to take personal development goals serious. “We have to get out of doing plans that are individual to you based on organization or nomenclature. It has to be for you and what you want”, he concluded.

Growing Leadership Influence

People shower encomium on Mr Ete Pinnick for his exemplary leadership and openness, HSENations understands.
From his time at Unilever, he is described as a mentor and true boss.

Not dismissing the testimonials, Ete discussed his approach towards leadership.

In his 15 years of service at Unilever and since joining Cadbury, Ete said he had the habit of welcoming ideas regardless of the source it originates from.

He encouraged HSE leaders and Business leaders to build the capacity and capability of their subordinates. According to him, the act is a hallmark of true leadership spirit.

According to him, his leadership philosophy focuses on people’s strengths. Hence, he encourages people to leverage on it rather than spending inordinate time working on their weaknesses.

“When you grow the people and their capability, you’ll learn from them. Everybody has a unique talent, everybody has something to give”, he said.

“In my career, I’ve learnt from people on shop floor, I’ve learnt from the security man at the gate, I’ve learnt from everybody. I listen to what they have to say. I listen to ideas.”

He posited further that “if somebody on the shop floor has a better idea, it becomes our idea. It doesn’t matter where the idea comes from. My philosophy is the more you build people, the people build you”.

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