Waking Up Behind the Wheel of Environmental Health Management

By Yates, Larry D. | Journal of Environmental Health, October 1995 | Go to article overview

Waking Up Behind the Wheel of Environmental Health Management


Yates, Larry D., Journal of Environmental Health


The following is a reply to Steve Tackitt's President's Message published in the July August 1995 issue of the Journal of Environmental Health entitled, "The Big Picture...Where Are You?" Rather than bog down in heavy text, I hope you'll enjoy my bulletized big picture.

I WAS ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL

Having become an environmental health manager, I was essentially asleep to many of the possibilities and opportunities available to us. I was still focused on the trees, rather than the forest. I found myself constantly reacting to the clamor of daily urgencies, rather than the more important overall direction of our EH programs and their commensurate health improving value for the community.

* Endogenous suspicions. I completed all of the available on-the-job training for supervisors and managers, yet a little voice inside was saying, "I think there may be more to it (Environmental Health Management) than this..."

* Exogenous accusations. You may recall a series of Journal articles and letters on "The Failure of Sanitarians." I took them personally. While I find many of the Journal writings interesting, calling me a failure really got my undivided attention. I took Dr. Tom Hatfield's writings seriously because I think they contained some "essential truths" and clues to missed opportunities for growth. This was another wake-up call for me.

WAKING UP BEHIND THE WHEEL OF A FAST-MOVING VEHICLE

I once got a traffic ticket for failure to pay full time and attention. You see, there was this very good-looking pedestrian crossing the road, and in my diligence, I failed to notice the car that had stopped in front of me to make a left turn. "But your Honor, I was paying full time and attention; it was just to the wrong thing!!" This is symbolic of my career as well, i.e., I was paying attention all along, but I allowed my focus to be too narrow at times to include other essential emerging issues Rapid evolution is what makes environmental health fun, but it is also what makes it challenging to navigate.

* Environmental Health Management [LD.sub.50]s. Responding to the little voice inside, I began to study management theory in night school. I began to wake up to a whole world of things that I was doing that can be deemed Environmental Health Management [LD.sub.50]s. Just as surely as there's a specific dose of a toxic substance that will kill 50% of a test animal population, so are there management toxins which, if repeated in sufficient quantity, will kill 50% of our environmental health practitioner population if we continue to do them. These are mindsets exhibited in statements like "We can't help you with that," "It isn't in my job description," "I'm only doing my job," "Budgets are for administrators, " "We try to stay out of politics around here," etc. These are just a few of the things we were doing daily to significantly underwhelm our customers with effective service.

REGAINING CONTROL OF THE VEHICLE

* Acres of diamonds. An African farmer sold his farm to follow his glistening dream of prospecting for and finding naturally occurring African diamonds. After many years of unsuccessful searching, he died. It was found later that the streams on the farm he had sold contained acres of diamonds. I have tended to automatically define my career direction as going to other farms, and yet since waking up I've noticed that my backyard is glistening with opportunity.

BECOMING ONE WITH THE ROAD

* Turning on my headlights--reticular activating systems (RAS). Have you ever noticed that once you set out to study an issue, you begin to see it everywhere? According to behavioral psychologist Anthony Robbins, RAS is the automatic human psychological response which causes us to notice things in our environment because of subconscious scanning, that we didn't notice previously. And so it is with applying management principles to environmental health practices. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Waking Up Behind the Wheel of Environmental Health Management
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.