Who's Riding Your Business Bus?

Friday, October 20, 2017

As a business manager, you have to think of your business as a bus. That’s the idea behind educator Ron Clark’s book 'Move Your Bus'. What does some new age principal of a school know about running a business?

Well, it turns out he has some pearls of wisdom.

The Driver
The book is based on the idea of viewing your business as a bus, but a bus the Flintstones would use. You are the Driver of your bus. You have to decide who you’re letting on and where you are going. The employees are simply the engine that help you get there.

The first type of employee you must have are runners. Those are the employees you can trust to get things done and done right. In fact, managing runners can turn out to be difficult because you have to constantly challenge them. You may have lost a few runners in the past at the promise of more responsibility and higher wages at a large company. They weren’t swayed by the money alone. You have to give runners more responsibility and you have to give them as much incentive as possible.

These are the people you can trust to get their job done. They meet deadlines, they are on time, and you rarely have to talk to them about anything. They are great employees. One of the best things about these employees is that they are low maintenance. Obviously, you would want every employee to be a runner, but then again, you might find it hard to keep them all happy. It’s always great to have some joggers on the team, too.

One interesting point is that this group shares a name with the undead from the Walking Dead series. In a sense, this group is similar to zombies. They are simply going through the motions. These are the folks that are a month from retirement, whether literally or figuratively. In the sense of business, they’ve got one foot in the grave. They simply get the bare minimum done. You possibly need to give them some strict deadlines, check in with them, and even give them an incentive or pep talk just to get through the daily or weekly task list. This group tends to be the most difficult because they do their work, but they seem to be phoning it in at times. You can’t get rid of them, but you have to find a way to help them jog.

This group are the deadbeats. Chances are, you’ve hired a few in your time. You’ve probably already fired them, or you’re about to fire them right now. These folks simply do not contribute. It’s like having a bunch of adolescents working for you. You send them out to wash the car and they come back soaking wet, covered in soap, and make a mess of the house. Then you check the car and it’s dirtier than it was to begin with. The riders are simply getting in your way. Fortunately, we can give them an ultimatum. If the ultimatum doesn’t get them directly into the joggers category, we have to part ways.

While Ron Clark approaches his categories differently, the theories are the same. We need runners and joggers. We have to find ways to help our walkers and riders to become joggers or even runners.

If you have everyone contributing to the overall goals of the company, it’s much easier to get where you’re going.