Who Have You Helped Be Successful Today?

Stuart MacLean Discusses The Importance of Being An Authentic Leader To Have A Psychologically Safe Workplace

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In This Episode

Today more than ever, employees are looking to their leaders for help on how to navigate COVID-19, working from home, juggling work-life balance and keeping up on their actual jobs. But as leaders, how do we do that effectively?

Stuart MacLean builds on Dr Bill Howatt’s article around authentic leadership by highlighting his philosophy he’s learned over his career path of always asking yourself who have you helped be successful today? The group talks about the importance of a leader caring about the individuals working around them regardless of job funct

If you are a manager, CEO or HR professional, this episode has excellent takeaways that you can build on in your organization. It’s also a great listen for anyone in an organizational hierarchy to share and start an important conversation with your leaders that can improve the psychological safety of your workplace.

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Episode Breakdown

First 10 Minutes
Dr Bill introduces the topic of how to be a leader in a psychologically safe workplace. Dave and Dr Bill welcome Stuart Maclean to the podcast. Stuart talks to us about how he feels leaders need to be vulnerable to be a good leader and encourage open dialogue.

10 Minutes – 20 Minutes
Dave asks Dr Bill about the path to authenticity and vulnerability for a leader. Dr Bill highlights the point that we don’t always ask leaders if they like people, which is a crucial point for strong leaders. Dr Bill, Dave and Stuart all share stories of the positive and negative impacts of authentic leadership.

20 Minutes – 30 Minutes
Stuart highlights the importance that increased diversity has brought to leadership. He talks about the importance of leaders showing how they care about others in the organization regardless of job function. The move from knowing about things to caring about things is a significant evolution. The group discusses how current events are causing the next growth of leadership. Stuart highlights how sometimes the necessary discussions and decisions are the difficult ones. Stuart mentions how he believes in over-communicating with employees to make sure, especially now is to stay connected with people.

30 Minutes – 40 Minutes
Dr Bill brings up how leaders also need to be prepared for the adverse outcomes that are occurring right now due to COVID-19. Stuart brings up the impact that first responders are facing from working within this crisis and their day to day jobs. He emphasizes the importance of building the ability to recognize mental health issues and how we deal with them as leaders. Dr Bill highlights how we need to educate employees to have balance and healthy mental wellbeing. Dr Bill highlights how leaders need to make all of the suggestions they make to employees apply to themselves as well and prioritize their mental wellness.

Stuart MacLean

Stuart MacLean

Chief Executive Officer, Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia

Stuart MacLean was appointed Chief Executive Officer of WCB Nova Scotia in January 2012, after beginning his career with WCB in 1986.

His passion for occupational health and safety quickly grew as he assumed leadership roles in many of the WCB’s operational divisions. It was there where he saw first-hand the impact of workplace injuries and fatalities on workers and their families.

Stuart determined early that with appropriate leadership, focus on best practice, discipline, and collaboration, Nova Scotia could emerge as a leader in workplace safety. In support of that goal, he played a lead role in developing Nova Scotia’s prevention strategy, and helped guide a new WCB service model that provides better support for workers and employers. Stuart’s efforts to improve health and safety are making a positive difference, and have been recognized nationally, regionally, and locally.

Stuart has a business degree from Acadia University, an Executive MBA from Saint Mary’s University, and an ICD designation from Rotman’s School of Business. He is the Chair of the Board of the Association Of Workers’ Compensation Boards Of Canada, and is an active volunteer in the community, serves as Past-Chair of the Board of Directors for the YMCA of Greater Halifax, and on the Board of Governors for Acadia University. He has also served on the Board of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS).

Stuart drives the WCB’s strategic vision while overseeing all aspects of its operations. He is a true safety champion with an unwavering passion for preventing workplace injury. Working with partners in government and the private sector, Stuart is committed to the vision of the Workplace Safety Strategy to make Nova Scotia the safest place to work in Canada.

About Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia

WCB Nova Scotia is the province’s provider of workplace injury insurance.

  • Pursuant to the Workers’ Compensation Act, we provide workplace injury insurance to workers and employers in Nova Scotia. Every day, our employees work to reduce the human and financial impact of workplace injury. We work to prevent workplace injuries, but when it occurs, we are there to provide security from its impact to workers and their families.
  • We work with employers to help prevent workplace injuries, and to establish strong return to work programs. When injury occurs, we support injured workers to return to work in a safe and timely manner. We provide income replacement benefits, supporting rehabilitation and offering return-to-work assistance. We also provide extended benefits in cases where an injured worker is no longer able to work due to their workplace injury, and we support families in the wake of workplace tragedy.
  • We are a leader in Nova Scotia’s growing workplace safety culture. Our social marketing campaigns spark important conversations and behaviour changes related to workplace safety. Guided by the momentum of the Workplace Safety Strategy, we work together with our partners to make Nova Scotia the safest place to work in Canada.

Thank you to our partners!

Shifting the Employee Experience is presented in partnership with the University of New Brunswick College of Extended Learning, featuring the online High Impact Corporate Learning Program! Workplace health, safety, wellness and leadership are competencies that significantly impact a workforce. Strength in these areas is crucial for success in a corporate environment. Build capacity of your entire team with specialized courses! UNB Online! Learn more! Visit go.unb.ca/iclp-podcast


Every worker. Healthy and safe. Every day.

Workplace Safety & Prevention Services is a not-for-profit organization committed to protecting workers and businesses. WSPS serves the manufacturing, agricultural and service sectors in Ontario supporting over 167,000 member firms and 4.1 million workers. WSPS offers unparalleled health and safety expertise, consulting, training and resources. Our mandate includes helping businesses understand their risks and legal obligations to stay in compliance and build safer workplaces.