Picture this: Your company is a bus. Instead of wheels, the bus is carried forward by the legs of you and your colleagues, not unlike a vehicle from the Flintstones. The drivers are in the front, steering the company through the twists and turns in the road. The runners are behind the drivers, pushing the bus forward with an impressive – and seemingly endless – amount of energy. The joggers follow suit, moving at a steady and sustainable pace, whereas the walkers trail behind, pushed forward by the momentum of the other workers. Finally, the riders sit in their seats, uncaring, letting the others carry their weight.
This is the metaphor that Ron Clark, New York Times best-selling author, uses in his latest book, “Move Your Bus: An Extraordinary New Approach to Accelerating Success in Work and Life.” Clark has won the Teacher of the Year award from Disney for his education efforts as well as the title of “Phenomenal Man” from Oprah Winfrey. He founded Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, a teaching school at which more than 25,000 educators from around the world have learned the best ways to teach their students. Every year, Clark visits Fortune 500 companies and other businesses to share his leadership methods. His numerous accomplishments have even inspired a film: “The Ron Clark Story,” starring Matthew Perry.
In “Move Your Bus,” Clark uses his knowledge from the education world to help employees and team leaders alike in the workplace. Clark theorizes that there are five types of employees: the drivers who lead the other workers, the runners who perform above and beyond the call of duty, the joggers who do their jobs without pushing themselves, the walkers who do the bare minimum and the riders who drag the rest of the team down. By placing each team member into one of these five categories, the company leaders can determine the best way to help each employee reach his or her potential.
Runners, for example, need support. Runners tend to be very passionate about their work, prioritizing their career over their family, their friends and even their health. When company leaders interact with a runner, they need to remember that this passion can get misdirected, harming both the runner and the company. A person who works hard can be helpful – a person who works too hard can make mistakes, butt heads with other employees or burn out. By providing the runners with support and direction, team leaders can guide their energy toward the most important projects. Clark provides further insights into how to deal with runners as well as how to work with joggers (provide validation), walkers (improve motivation) and riders (just get rid of them).
“Move Your Bus” is an insightful read that is relatively free of corporate jargon and filled with engaging stories about Clark’s colleagues, friends and students. Each chapter is filled with valuable advice for how to succeed as well as how to help the people around you succeed. At only 192 pages, “Move Your Bus” is a relatively quick read that is guaranteed to make a positive and lasting impact on your work performance.
Written by Courtney Lopresti, M.S. neuroscience, Sovereign Health Group writer