The past year has been a dry one in our neck of the woods but one Sunday the rain started and it didn’t let up as I wrote this on a Monday morning. Along with the downpour came substantial winds. The saturated ground combined with the winds to topple a tree onto the power lines just a few blocks from our house. This put the power out from around 7PM to 5AM.
Out came the candles and a cribbage game by candlelight ensued. I wasn’t skunked but lost miserably. This was followed by a family reading session by headlamp. I took advantage of the opportunity to read a book my friend, Daren, loaned me several months ago. You may have already read the book. It was easily finished in one night. Not sure why I waited so long to get to it but I was thankful I did.
The book is the Energy Bus by Jon Gordon. It follows the leadership transformation of the main character, George. George is an over-stressed businessman whose car breaks down on a Monday morning. With no other options, he makes a mile-long trek to a bus stop where he gets on board Bus #11. This begins a two-week routine in which George learns the 10 Rules for the Ride of Your Life from bus driver and energy guru, Joy.
It is a cleverly written and easily followed story which unfolds the 10 Rules one day at a time and throws in a handful of poignant teaching points and factoids. The book culminates with an 11-Step Energy Bus Action Plan that was uncannily familiar.
My favorite rule was Rule #8 – Love Your Passengers.
5 WAYS TO LOVE YOUR PASSENGERS
1. Make time for them.
a. Be engaged in the moment.
b. Don’t be thinking about 10 things you have to do that day or 10 other people you need to meet with.
c. Really be with that person and focus your energy on them. They will feel the difference.
2. Listen to them.
a. Listen with your heart and care about what they have to say.
b. Empathy is the key.
3. Recognize them.
a. Honor them for who they are and what they feel and do.
b. Feed the positive dog inside them and watch it grow.
4. Serve them.
a. The higher you get in an organization, the more it is your duty to serve the people below you rather than having the people below serve you.
b. The key is to serve their growth, their future, their career, and their spirits so they enjoy work, life and being on your bus.
c. The more you serve their growth, the more they will help you grow.
5. Bring out the best in them.
a. If you want to love your team, help them do what they do best. It’s that simple.
My favorite factoid came following this excerpt.
Lead with heart. Get in touch with the real, positive and powerful you. Lead with positive, contagious leadership.
The heart is your power center. It is where positive contagious leadership comes from, and the more open, powerful, and positive it is the more powerful you are.
The heart acts as an emotional conductor and radiates how you are feeling to every cell in your body via the heart’s electromagnetic field; this energy field can be detected up to 5 to 10 feet away.
The heart’s electromagnetic field is 5,000 times more powerful than the brain.
I can only imagine what it took, in the wind and incessant rain, for the linemen to restore energy to our neighborhood. I am grateful to them. I am also grateful that a power outage gave way to an empowerment of my character via the Energy Bus book. It was a great reminder never to be too busy to love my passengers.