The Energy Bus
By Jon Gordon
My Background
S Many years as a teacher and coach
S MS principal
S HS assistant principal
S Director of student services
S Superintendent of schools- Anamosa, IA
S Consultant and state coordinator of SAMs in Iowa
Dedicate session to Chris Kircher
Who’s Here?
S Principals?
S Central office administrators?
S Higher Education?
S Others?
S Why does this topic interest you?
Bus as the Topic
S School buses– direct connection to each of our schools
S How many of you rode a school bus as a child? As an adult
in a school district?
S Funny stories of buses- my experience
S Noises/energy in a bus– focus of this breakout
Positive Energy- Where it’s at!
S Positive people and positive teams produce positive results,
and the essential ingredient is positive energy.
S How do me accomplish and maintain that in each of our schools
during difficult times ( budget issues, increased accountability,
more mental health issues, issues of safety, etc.)
S SAM teams– The Right Work!
Context of the book
S Flat tire- forced to take the bus (not happy about the
S Negativity was getting in the way of a lot of things
S Driver of the bus– “this is no ordinary bus, this is MY bus
and you’re going to enjoy the ride”
S Everything happens for a reason- even flat tires. You can
choose to look at those events as a curse or a gift
Everyone has Challenges
S Bus driver– “everyone who gets on this bus has problems
and challenges in their life”
S 10 rules for the “ride of your life”
S Rule #1: You’re the driver of your bus!
S Take the wheel and change direction if need be
Rule #2
S Desire, vision, and focus move your bus in the right
direction– clear and compelling vision (People want to jump
on our bus)
S Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want
(complaining, build on the strengths of others)
S On the bus– “we’re winners, not whiners”
S E+P= O (Events +Perception= Outcome)
Rule #3
S Fuel your ride with positive energy
S Positive energy is necessary to take you where you want to go
S Every day we have the choice between positive energy and
negative energy
S (Story of the two dogs inside)- p. 49
S One good shot (golf)- instead of focusing on all that went
S Feed the positive dog & that is the one that will grow
Rule #4
S Invite people on your bus and share the vision for the road
ahead- clear and compelling vision!
S “I am not bound to win, I am bound to be true. I am not
bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to the light that
I have”– Abraham Lincoln
Rule #5
S Don’t wasted your energy on those who don’t get on your
S Don’t try to make them get on
S You can’t drive anyone else’s bus
S The goal is not to better than anyone else but to be better
than you were yesterday
Rule #6
S Post a sign that says “No energy vampires allowed on your
S Your positive energy and vision must be greater than anyone
and everyone’s negativity
S Your certainty must be greater than everyone’s doubt.
S Positive energy is like muscle. The more you use it the stronger
it gets.
Partner Discussion
S Who are the energy vampires in your setting?
S How do you handle them?
S How do you change the energy?
Rule #7
S Enthusiasm attracts more passengers and energizes them
during the ride.
S CEO (Chief Energy Officer)
S A life touches a life that touches a life
S Schools and their effect on others every single day- sometimes
we forget about our influence
S Develop other CEOs
S People are always buying you and “your energy”
Rule #8
S Love your passengers- make time for them, listen to them,
recognize them, serve then, bring out the best in them
S Focus on bringing out the best in each person
S Help them discover the value (the gold) inside themselves
S When you bring out the best in others you can’t help bringing
the best in yourself
Rule #9
S Drive with purpose
S What is your larger and greater purpose?
S Schools– various “jobs”- food service, custodians, etc. Each
has a link to a greater purpose (my experience with job
S When we drive with purpose, we don’t get bored or tired
and our engines don’t burn out.
Rule #10
S Have fun and enjoy the ride
S “The goal in life is live young, have fun, and arrive at
your final destination as late as possible, with a smile on
your face”.
S As Paul & Willow said this morning, “Keep your Day”
So, Where do We Go From
S Think of what our schools would be like if we all operated
using the 10 rules of the Energy Bus
S Angry parents, community members
S Kids not learning as fast as we want them to
S Administrators leading with vision, purpose, and as CEOs
“Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from
themselves”-- Sir James Barry
“We are never really happy until we try to brighten the lives of others” –Helen Keller
“As I grow older I pay less attention to what people say. I just watch what
they do”-- Thomas Jefferson
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”-- Helen Keller
Summary of 10 Rules
You’re the driver of your bus
Desire, vision, and focus move your bus in the right direction
Fuel your ride with positive energy
Invite people on your bus and share your vision for the road ahead.
Don’t waste your energy on those who don’t get on your bus
Post a sign that says NO ENERGY VAMPIRES ALLOWED on your bus
Enthusiasm attracts more passengers and energizes them during the ride
Love your passengers
Drive with purpose
Have fun and enjoy the Ride
Thank you
S Go forth as the driver of YOUR BUS!!
S Don’t ever forget who is the driver of the bus

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