The Energy Bus | Book Review

“Unfortunately, it takes a crisis for so many of us to change” – Joy the Bus Driver.

This is the takeaway point in Jon Gordon’s The Energy Bus – a highly recommended book with many relevant ties to two of Academy Leadership’s most distinctive elements: Energize2Lead™ and The Leader’s Compass.

Thoughts on The Ten Rules:

1.    You’re the Driver of Your Bus.
2.    Desire, Vision, and Focus Move Your Bus in the Right Direction.
3.    Fuel Your Ride with Positive Energy.
4.    Invite People on Your Bus and Share Your Vision for the Road Ahead.
5.    Don’t Waste Your Energy on Those Who Don’t Get on Your Bus.
6.    Post a Sign That Says NO ENERGY VAMPIRES ALLOWED on Your Bus.
7.    Enthusiasm Attracts More Passengers and Energizes Them During the  Ride.
8.    Love Your Passengers.
9.    Drive With Purpose.
10.  Have Fun and Enjoy the Ride.

A recurring theme developed in Gordon’s book, although not specifically stated, is agape love. This is very similar to Manby’s Love Works, whereby agape love is the embrace of our values.

Three passages in the book really drive some of the ten rules home. On page 27, Joy tells George that more people die Monday morning at 9.00 am than any other time – or that often people would rather die than go to work. Second, on page 77, Joy states:

“Your positive energy and vision must be greater than anyone’s and everyone’s negativity. Your certainty must be greater than everyone’s doubt.”

This is a fantastic point for Academy Leadership facilitators, especially when coaching people in challenging environments. Finally, on page 109, in the Chief Energy Officer chapter, Jack (fellow bus rider) tells George:

“I don’t care what product you are selling, what division or team you are leading, or what product launch your are buying you are presenting. People are always buying you and your energy.”

This is more good advice for both Academy Leadership affiliates and any growing leader.

George’s Moment of Truth:

On page 84, George decides he will no longer be a “punching bag” – for anyone or anything. This is the turning point in the book as George decides, perhaps for the first time, that he wants to “walk the talk.” The best part is how energized George feels after he confronts Tom’s negativity.

Applications to Academy Leadership:

Pages 84 and 85 make the same point as our “Why Develop a Leader’s Compass” slide from the Leader’s Compass module. Our notes (Boot Camp version four not five) page describes the normal state in organizations where, usually to just get along, we give up our principles and energy in the process. Drawing out a similar experience with a program attendee, or with a personal story, or George’s story, creates a lasting point for our audience.

Thoughts on The Energy Bus Action Plan:

The Energy Bus Action Plan (pp. 159 – 164) provides an eleven-step sequence for application of the ten rules outlined in the book. The Action Plan correlates with much of Academy Leadership’s Personal Leadership Philosophy (steps 1 – 4) creation and goal setting (step 5). This is excellent reinforcement for our Leader’s Compass process, especially the idea of living one’s Leader’s Compass, not just documenting it.

JE | January 2013