The Three Ways of Reliability Leadership


There is a very common limiting belief that the knowing of something is somehow going to produce better outcomes or better performance. This is only true at base levels of performance.

Almost all of what is promoted for performance improvement in reliability is about transferring knowledge from an instructor or a consultant to you (the client, the client team, the client organization).

Let's assume you found a playbook with all the "right" answers for reliability at your site. Would reliability "emerge" from your new book of answers? works with Uptime Elements Reliability Framework and Asset Management System which does contain knowledge. The Body of Knowledge is what we consider "essential" fact-based detail about basic technical reliability, failure patterns, language, condition monitoring, work execution, asset management and leadership. We test your understanding of these facts with a 125 question multiple choice exam and if you are successful you earn the designation of Certified Reliability Leader through the Association of Asset Management Professionals, a Florida Not for Profit 501 C (6) Tax Exempt association.

However that is only a small part and the beginning of what we call Reliability Leadership.

If you have ever worked with me around Reliability Leadership, you know I work in enquiries rather than answers as there is simply no power to be accessed in answers. Taking the example above - I state that having the entire playbook for reliability - does not provide access to achieving reliability anymore than having Vincent Van Gogh's painting playbook would create equivalent masterpieces. It would not allow you to "be" - as in human being - the way Van Gogh is as a human being - Van Gogh. Having Van Gogh's playbook does not make you "be" Van Gogh.

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To "be" a Reliability Leader requires more than answers. It requires more than a playbook.

First - and although it may be obvious - it requires one to be a human being. There are four human values that form the cornerstone of Reliability Leadership and they are:

Integrity - Do what you say you will do.

Authenticity - Be who you say you are.

Responsibility - Be accountable/take a stand.

Aim - Work for something bigger than one's self.

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To stand in these values allows one to "be" a Reliability Leader - which is distinct from "knowing about" Reliability Leadership.

Knowing about Football does not make one a Professional Football Player.  Watching the game from the stands is different than playing the game on the field.

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In fact - when we lead Certified Reliability Leader Workshops and someone attend that holds a different Reliability Certification - that can be both an advantage and barrier to Reliability Leadership.

We said that what you already knew from your other reliability certification could be “a very substantial barrier to overcome”. This is in part because one’s brain uses what is already known in its scramble to deal with what is encountered. Moreover, given our human addiction to “being right” and attempting to “dominate” a discussion, we’re thrown to “I already know this”. (Do you know anyone who does this a lot?)

For you to actually master what is presented in the Certified Reliability Leader Workshop, you must be willing to treat anything that sounds familiar like you don’t know what it’s all about – that is, you must treat it like you would treat anything that was entirely new for you. In other words, watch out for anything you think you already know about, or even think is like something you already know.

The thing I want you now to start to enquire into – to engage with – is that Reliability Leadership as a phenomenon in the domain of knowledge is like an observer giving an account and is an entirely distinct phenomenon from "being" a Reliability Leader.

If this all sounds a little uncomfortable for you - good! Reliability Leadership is not supposed to be easy. It is not supposed to be studied for. It is to be experienced and lived.

Please experience a Certified Reliability Leader Workshop and "be" a Reliability Leader.

Learn more here:

Event dates and locations

Reliability Leadership

Certified Reliability Leader


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Keep a mild groove on,

Terrence O'Hanlon

Executive Director

The Association of Asset Management Professionals

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Please your comments:

 Industry: Paper Mill

Area: Tissue Machine - third level

Assets: Hood recirculation fans

Comments: Centrifugal fan, catiliver arrangement, grid coupling, 800 hp - 1780 rpm electric motor

Problem: High vibration (20 mm / s) 1xrpm in horizontal direction in a higher percentage in the free side bearing, this high vibration occurs with the burners at full load, with which temperatures of up to 500 oC are reached.

The fans are operated at very close speeds, usually with a difference below 100 rpm. Therefore Beat is presented

When the burners are off, the vibratory amplitudes register maximum 7 mm / s in the horizontal direction.

 What do you think of this case?

Please your recommendations

 Thank you



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