The Energy Bus
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The Energy Bus

10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy

Jon Gordon

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eBook - ePub

The Energy Bus

10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy

Jon Gordon

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Fuel your life with positive energy with this bestselling fable

It's Monday morning and George walks out of the front door to his car and a flat tire. This is the least of his problems. His home life is in shambles and his team at work is in disarray. With a big product launch coming in two weeks, he has to find a way to get it together or risk losing his marriage and job. Forced to take the bus to work, George meets a unique bus driver and an interesting cast of characters who, over the course of two weeks, share the ten rules for the ride of his life. In the process, they help him turn around his work and life, saving his job and marriage from destruction.

The Energy Bus, an international bestseller, takes readers on an enlightening and inspiring ride that reveals ten secrets for approaching life and work with the kind of positive, forward thinking that leads to true accomplishment—at work and at home.

  • Build positive energy with vision, trust, optimism, enthusiasm, purpose, and spirit
  • Learn how to turn negative energy into positive achievement
  • Overcome obstacles and bring out the best in yourself and your team

For managers and team leaders or anyone looking to turn negative situations into positive outcomes, The Energy Bus provides a powerful plan for overcoming common life and work obstacles and bringing out the best in yourself and your team. When you get on The Energy Bus, you'll enjoy the ride of your life.

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Chapter 1
Flat Tire

It was Monday and Mondays were never good for George. He stood in his driveway looking at his car and shaking his head. He wasn’t surprised, really. Misfortune had been following him for the past few years like a dark rain cloud hovering over his life, and today was no different. His tire was completely flat, and George’s face was about to burst. “Not today!” he shouted as he opened the trunk only to find a flat spare tire.
He heard his wife’s words in his head: “You should get that fixed, George. One day you’re going to have a flat and wish you had a spare tire.”
Why does she always have to be right? he wondered. George thought of his neighbor Dave and ran down the block to see if he had already left for work. Dave worked downtown, too, and George was hoping to catch a quick ride with him.
George had an important meeting with his team at work, and today he couldn’t afford to be late. Not today. Especially not today. George punched the air with his clenched fist when he saw that Dave’s car was gone. Of course, he thought. Why would he still be here? That would be too easy.
As sweat poured from his brow, he ran back home, then stood in his driveway and looked at his cell phone trying to think of someone at work he could call. Think, think think, think think.
Then it dawned on him. He couldn’t think of one person at work he could call who would come pick him up. His only option left was his wife, and she was the last person he wanted to ask.
George walked in the house and heard the usual noise and chaos coming from the kitchen. He could hear the puppy jumping around and his wife trying to get the kids to sit still and eat their breakfast before heading off to school. He peered through the kitchen archway. As soon as the children saw him, the cheers erupted. “Hi, Daddy!” they yelled. His daughter came up to him and wrapped her arms around his hip. “I love you, Daddy,” she said as George barely acknowledged her. His son shouted, “Dad, can we play basketball right now?” George was like a reluctant celebrity in his own home. They wanted a piece of him, but he just wanted to hide in silence.
“No!” George shouted back. “It’s not a weekend. I have to get to work. Now both of you just please be quiet so I can ask your mother something. Honey, I have a flat tire and I have this really important meeting I have to get to today and I need your car!” he said frantically.
“What about the spare?” she asked.
“Of course you would bring that up. I never got it fixed.”
“Well, I can’t help you, George. I have to take the kids to school, then I have a dentist appointment, then I have to get the puppy to the vet, then I have a parent-teacher meeting. Should I continue? You’re not the only one who has things to do. You act like you’re the only important one in this family, but I run this house and this family and if I don’t have a car today, I can’t do my job.” She had become good at mounting a good offense to preempt George’s attacks.
“Yes, but if I’m late to this meeting, then I may not have a job,” he said.
As George and his wife continued bantering back and forth, their five-month-old puppy decided to say hello to George as well by jumping and slobbering all over him until he grabbed her by the collar and took her into her kennel. “Why did we get that dog, anyway?” he asked. “Do we really need to deal with a dog right now with all we have going on?”
“That’s real nice,” his wife said as their daughter started to cry, saying, “Daddy doesn’t love Sammy.”
“I can’t deal with this right now,” George said.
“You can’t seem to deal with anything anytime,” his wife countered.
“Can you just drop me off after taking the kids to school?” he asked. “I’ll still probably make it in time for the meeting.”
“I don’t have time, George. Didn’t you hear all I have to do today? I’ll hit serious traffic on the way back and then my day is gone. Why don’t you just take the bus?” she said. “It’s only about a mile to the bus stop.”
“The bus? Are you kidding me? The bus! I haven’t ridden on a bus since who knows when. Who takes the bus?” George asked, very frustrated.
“Well, today,” his wife answered bluntly, “you do. That’s who.”
“Fine,” George said as he grabbed his bag, stormed out of the house, and began his mile-long trek to the bus stop.
Bus #11 stopped in front of George, who was huffing, puffing, and swearing under his breath. What a surprise, George thought. I actually made the bus. With my luck I figured I would miss it.
As George stepped on the bus, he made eye contact with the driver, who had the two brightest eyes and the biggest smile he had ever seen.
“Good day to you today, Sugar!” she cheered.
George just grumbled and took his seat. What’s so good about it? he thought.
But her eyes never left him as she watched him walk to his seat through her rearview mirror.
George could feel her eyes on him. Why is she looking at me? I paid the fare, he thought.
He could see her big, never-ending smile in the rearview mirror and wondered, Does this woman ever stop smiling? Doesn’t she know it’s Monday? Who smiles on Monday?
“Where you going?” she asked.
George pointed to himself. “Me?”
“Yeah, you, Sugar. I haven’t seen you on my bus before and I know everyone on this route.”
“To work at the NRG Company,” he answered.
“That building downtown with the big lightbulb on it?” she asked excitedly.
“Yes, we make lightbulbs,” answered George, who wished he had had time to get a paper so he could bury his head in it.
“So what do we owe the pleasure of having you on my bus today?” she asked.
“Flat tire,” he said. “I hate taking the bus but I have a meeting I have to get to with my team and I had no other choice.”
“Well, you just sit back, relax, and don’t worry about a thing. You may not like taking the bus but I gotta tell you this is no ordinary bus. This is my bus and you’re going to enjoy the ride. My name is Joy. What’s yours?”
George mumbled his name hoping she would just leave him alone. His words were short and so was his fuse. Even on his best days George was not a man who enjoyed chitchatting, and he certainly didn’t feel like talking to a bus driver who seemed like she had drunk one too many cups of coffee and of all names hers had to be Joy. Figures, he thought. Joy was something that had certainly been lacking in his life. He couldn’t remember the last time he was happy. I bet she has no worries, he thought. All she has to do is drive a bus each day and smile and be nice to strangers. Sure, she can be all cheery and smile at me, but she knows nothing about me. She doesn’t know the stress I deal with each day. She doesn’t know the responsibilities I face at work and at home. Wife, boss, kids, employees, deadlines, mortgage, car payment, and a mom who is sick with cancer. She doesn’t know how drained I feel.
But she did know. Every day they walked on and off her bus, and she could spot them immediately. They came in all shapes, ages, colors, and sizes: men, women, white, black, Chinese, white collar, and blue collar. Yet all had a similar energy about them. She could see and feel it immediately. Lifeless. No kick in their step. Like a light had been turned off inside them. She could tell the people who shone brightly and those who had a subtle dim. She called them Dimmers. They walked around like zombies just trying to get through the day. No purpose, no spirit. No energy. As if it had been sucked out of them by the daily grind of life. She could tell the men who had given up their dreams. She knew the women who were working by day and taking care of a family by night. And she heard the complaints all the time. Too many people were overstressed, overtired, and overworked. That’s why she made it her mission to be an Energy Ambassador and to try to energize everyone who came on her bus. That’s why she called her ride the Energy Bus. And if anyone could use an energy boost, it was George.
“You know you came on my bus for a reason, George,” she said firmly to him. “Everyone does.”
George snapped back, “No, I came on your bus because I had a flat tire.”
“You can choose to look at it that way, George, or you can see the big picture here. Everything happens for a reason. Don’t forget that. Every person we meet. Every event in our life. Every flat tire happens for a reason. You can choose to ignore it or ask what that reason is and try to learn from it. Every problem has a gift for you in its hands as my man Richard Bach says. You can choose to see the curse or the gift. And this one choice will determine if your life is a success story or one big soap opera. And while I love soap operas, George, I don’t like seeing real life people like you living them. And George, I got to tell you that from the look of you, you’re not making the right choice. So choose wisely, George, choose wisely.”
At that the bus stopped and George got off as fast as he could, feeling more like he had been hit by a bus rather than riding on one. “Choose wisely; soap opera” stuck in his head. Whatever, he thought and shrugged it off. His team was waiting for him and he hated being late.
Joy didn’t always like hitting her passengers straight between the eyes with the truth, but with the stubborn ones like George, she knew there was no other way. It was the stubborn ones who often had the most potential. She knew because many years ago she had been just like him. Down, out, tired, and negative. People had offered help but she had never accepted it. She had been angry at the world and hadn’t thought she deserved it. It was ironic how the people who needed help the most were often the most closed off from receiving it. She had had a big coat of armor just like George did now, so sometimes the blunt...

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