3 Leadership Lessons from The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon

The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon is a parable for approaching life and work with positive energy.

1. You Choose How to Drive Your Own Bus

Stuff happens. To everyone. We all have to overcome adversity.

This is done not by rah-rah cheerleading, but through optimism, trust, purpose, and doing meaningful work.

When adversity strikes, you choose how to respond to it. You can let it bog you down, or you can see it as an opportunity to learn, change, or grow. Sometimes we don’t change until we are put through adversity.

As the driver of your bus, you have to take responsibility for your actions. You can’t choose what happens to you, but you do choose how to perceive it, and thus the outcome.

2. Your Positivity Must Be Greater Than Others’ Negativity

Other people are the hardest part about staying positive. No matter what you do, there will always be haters. There will be people who don’t want you to succeed because it highlights their own weaknesses and shortcomings.

Rather than driving their own bus, they would rather ruin everyone else’s ride.

3. Energy is Everything

Think about negative people (Gordon calls them ‘energy vampires’) who suck the energy out of you. They deflate you, hinder your ability to work, and basically ruins your day.

Energy is affected by multiple things on a daily basis – eating habits, sleeping habits, what you read, what you listen to, what you watch, and who you hang out with. What kind of lens do you process events with?

Being positive requires a certain amount of intentionality.Whenever there is some kind of void, negativity fills it by default. If you are constantly thinking about the things you don’t have, then you’ll simply end up with more things to complain about. If you’re constantly focused on people who ‘are not on your bus’, then you’ll never have time to focus on the people who are.

When you feel good, and have positive energy, others enjoy being around you. Positive energy is shown by your actions and demeanor – not a false and exaggerated enthusiasm. Gordon calls energy the currency of professional and personal success, and the core of emotional intelligence.

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