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Running head: BOOK REVIEW

Book Review About The Energy Bus


Francisco J. Razo-Anaya
University of Saint Thomas

BOOK REVIEW

Educators need to be continuously learning new techniques and approaches in order to


perform their work in the most effective way. Educators also need to maintain their energy levels
and enthusiasm high to be able to transmit the delight for learning to their students. The Energy
Bus by Jon Gordon (2007) is an example of a tool to refresh a teachers perspective about
himself and his task.
Summary
The Energy Bus tells the story of George, the fictional protagonist, and his growing
relationship with a bus driver and her morning regulars and the lessons they share with him about
how to approach life, work, and relationships. The main character is a middle class professional
who works for a corporation, but the lessons shared in the book can apply to a variety of
contexts. The most important ideas in the book are contained in the ten rules the author makes
Joy, the bus driver, and some other characters from her crew share with George. Towards the end
of the book George has experienced a life change and has a renewed perspective about his job
and his relationship with his wife thanks to the 10 rules he implements.
The first rule shared in the book is, you are the driver of your bus. This metaphor is about
personal responsibility. This means each person is in charge of their own decision making and
the current state of affairs in his life is a direct consequence of past decisions. The idea behind
this rule is to empower people to take control of their life by making every decision
conscientiously aligned with their personal goals.
The second rule is: desire, vision, and focus move your bus in the right direction. This
message is about a clear goal and the rationale behind it. Without these elements is easy to loose
focus and motivation to reach your personal goals. This section of the book also mentions the

BOOK REVIEW

resilience necessary to overcome obstacles in the search of personal goals. This resilience comes
from a strong reason to reach the goals. This part of the book also encourages the continuous
reflection about the relevance of personal goals. The ninth rule, drive with purpose, is closely
related with this rule and highlights the importance Gordon (2007) gives to the purpose and
vision for any organization.
The third rule is, fuel your ride with positive energy. This part of the book encourages the
reader to have an optimistic perspective in every situation. The momentum built by this positive
energy will take the reader to take on bigger challenges and learn from setbacks with a growth
set of mind. Additionally, keeping a positive focus will eliminate the opportunity to linger in
negative thoughts.
The fourth rule is, invite people on your bus and share your vision for the road ahead. This
rule serves as a reminder to choose carefully the members of your team. There is a pack effect
when working with a group of people and it must be capitalized by ensuring there is a majority
of positive members in a team. The author also makes a point about actively avoid the influence
from negative people.
The fifth rule, do not waste our energy on those who do not get on your bus, and the sixth
rule, post a sign that says no energy vampires allowed on your bus, are closely connected.
Both rules guide the reader to avoid negative individuals as part of his team. This will reduce
conflict and make for a more productive team in any endeavor. This rule is very important to
avoid losing all the gains generated by following the other rules.
The seventh rule is, enthusiasm attracts more passengers and energizes them during the
ride. This section encourages the reader to showcase positivity as a tool to attract other positive

BOOK REVIEW

people. This rule is in direct correlation with rules four, five, and six. Gordon (2007) stresses
from a variety of perspectives the importance of a productive team and ways to attract good
elements based on the organizational culture instead of money.
The eighth rule is, love your passengers. Gordon (2007) encourages his readers to show a
genuine interest for the people in their teams. According to the author, leaders ought to be
selfless when caring for their teams. This kind of leadership will develop loyalty and motivate
teams to put all their resources for reaching the team mission.
The tenth and final rule is, have fun and enjoy the ride. This final rule is focused on
enjoying ones task. This rule supports all the other rules about positivity and makes the
perspective sustainable through time. On the long run, according to the author, positivity
becomes unsustainable if the daily routine is not fulfilling.
Points of interest
Jon Gordon (2007) wrote a useful set of rules for leaders to apply in their development of
positive and effective teams. He also adds an action plan to the epilogue of the book to guide the
reader through the steps necessary to implement the rules. Two points stand out in the book, the
strong focus in positive attitudes and people, and the importance of keeping a strong focus in the
purpose for a task.
The book highlights the importance of the positive set of mind through Georges story.
This is very important for educators because of the complexity and importance of the educational
task. Without an optimistic perspective, it is easy to become disenchanted by policies, lack of
support, or funding constrains. Students do not deserve to have teachers who are not highly
motivated and positive in their interactions.

BOOK REVIEW

The strong focus in the purpose for a task is relevant to educators because of the nature of
their job. Teachers shape future generations. This perspective helps to frame the labor of schools
as a categorical imperative for the continuity of an organized society. Nowadays teachers are
under increasing pressure from media and families, and it is necessary to highlight the
transcendental role they play in the development of their students.
Application
In the same way teachers make the climate in their classrooms, the principal creates the
climate for the school. As a leader, the principal has the responsibility to create and nurture a
positive environment for educators and students. In order to accomplish this objective, the
principal must provide a sense of purpose. A school with a strong sense of purpose is highly
effective and explodes each individuals full potential.
The principal also need to keep in mind he is in control of the direction the school takes.
Educators constantly look for explicit or implicit clues about what does their supervisor expects
from them. By focusing in the positive side of a schools situation and constantly sharing his
vision, the principal gives a clear direction to the development of the school. The principal also
has the responsibility of fighting negativity head on. He cannot afford to let his staff become
unmotivated. Even though motivation alone will never increase the capacity of a teacher,
unmotivated teachers do not perform to their full potential. Positivity as an organizational
mindset turns each employee in a motivator for the rest of the organization. The fight against
negativity can take many forms, but when it means have direct conversations with individuals
the principal must be ready to approach the topic firmly and professionally.

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Building a climate of positivity and enthusiasm also enlarges the applicant pool for each
position in a campus. This allows the principal to become more selective with the new teachers
coming to the organization. Additionally, an attractive climate reduces personnel rotation and
increases the effectiveness of the school.
Finally, a positive and effective school fosters leadership in all levels. The principal should
constantly provide teachers with opportunities to develop their leadership skills. This will
strengthen the overall organization and make it more receptive to change. Schools working as
well-oiled machines benefit students and provide them with a sustainable and excellent
education.

BOOK REVIEW

References

Gordon,J.(2007).TheEnergyBus.Hoboken,NJ:JohnWiley&Sons,Inc.