Monday, June 21, 2010

Leaders like bus drivers by Francis J. Kong

Here's another interesting read.....

Every day of my life, I have to take EDSA, which is crowded most of the time, as vehicles travel at the lightning speed of 30 kilometers per hour, many times slower. When traffic is light, I watch out for those negligent, reckless, dangerous bus drivers who race one other to get to their stops.

Now this got me thinking.

Bus drivers have a vision. They set goals and set their sight on those goals. They seem to be ready to run over anything and anyone just to reach their goals. At times, they even manage to destroy lives in the process.

Many leaders in business organizations lead like bus drivers. They set goals that are so specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely, they make a business consultant like me want to applaud them. But there is one problem. Like bus drivers, they run over their own employees, and crash through their closest and most loyal people. All in the name of accomplishing their goals. Their slogan in life? “The end justifies the mean-ness!” Some do this consciously. These are Machiavellian monsters adorned with the charm and grace of a serial killer; others are more clueless that they are actually doing it.

Are they able to achieve success? Perhaps, but success such as theirs is short-lived. It takes an inspiring leader who knows he cannot succeed alone to achieve true and lasting success. It takes a humble servant-leader whose mission on the job is not just to achieve goals, but to make his people become better in the process.

No one creates success alone; winning in business is winning with people. Running over people will only take you so far. To create true and lasting success you must nurture and invest in your people. Here are four essential ways to do this:


Great leaders know they deal with people who have feelings, not lifeless machines. The more you connect with your people, the more you learn about them and the more you really know them. I offer an assessment tool in my two-day leadership workshop seminar, and 90 percent of the time, participants are stunned to realize they’ve been working with the same people for years yet do not know them that well.


People hate the feeling of being used, of being taken advantage of. Work in itself is extremely challenging, but if done for a leader who cares about his team members, it becomes bearable. Meanwhile, work becomes unbearable the moment leaders behave like jerks who use his team members to accomplish his or her goals, and dispose of them like used tissue pieces when they’ve served their purpose. Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said it all too well: “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.” People become more engaged at work and would work at their highest potential when their leader cares about them.


Great leaders guide their people, work with their people, and bear the burdens with their people. When things go wrong, great leaders accept responsibility, carry the blame, and own the problem. This creates a tremendous impact on the people, as they become inspired to support their leaders through as well. Leaders who grab the credit for their team’s labor then blame them for messed-up jobs are jerks. They are the main reason why good people leave organizations.


Very high on the list of reasons why good people leave is the fact that people feel they are not appreciated. Many leaders do not realize that something as simple as a personally-written “thank you” note creates a strong and lasting impact on the recipient’s life.

Leadership is not just about what you do. It’s about bringing out your people’s best – inspiring them to be at their best and to give their best. This kind of leadership benefits everyone in the organization.

Leadership is not just about rules. Author Andy Stanley said, “Rules without relationship lead to rebellion.” And rebellion does not necessarily mean picket lines and work stoppage; disengagement from work is another, and it actually costs more.

Don’t drive your people the way those jerks drive their buses recklessly along EDSA and many of our highways. Inspire your people, engage them and invite them on the bus with you. Allow everyone to experience an amazing ride.

You know very well that you ought to “do unto others…as if you were the others…..”

(Learn inspiring leadership skills with Francis Kong as he presents Dr. John Maxwell’s “Developing The Leader Within You” program this June 29-30 at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel. For further inquiries, contact Inspire Leadership Consultancy Inc. at 632-6872614 or 09178511115.)

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