Be that Bus Driver

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Be that Bus Driver

Bus Driver

It was an unbearably steamy August afternoon in New York City, the kind of sweaty day that makes people sullen with discomfort. I was heading back to a hotel, and as I stepped onto a bus up Madison Avenue I was startled by the driver, a middle aged black man with an enthusiastic smile, who welcomed me with a friendly “Hi! How you doing?” as I got on. A greeting he proffered to everyone else who entered as the bus wormed through the thick midtown traffic. Each passenger was as startled as I, and locked into the morose mood of the day, few returned his greeting.

But as the bus crawled uptown through the gridlock, a slow, rather magical transformation occurred. The driver gave a running monologue, a lively commentary on the passing scene around us:

  • there was a terrific sale on at that store
  • a wonderful exhibit at that museum
  • did you hear about the new movie that just opened at that cinema down the block?

His delight in the rich possibilities the city offered was infectious. By the time people got off the bus, each in turn had shaken off the sullen shell they had entered with. When the driver shouted out a “So long, have a great day!” each gave a smiling response.

This is a story from Daniel Goleman’s ‘Emotional Intelligence. Why it can matter more that IQ

I love it. I want to be that bus driver.

It embodies the whole mindset of building a community and the power we have to generate the change in others.

It shows that even when people don’t respond, if you persist, they can warm to you, and become engaged.

Some people come to me in a downward mindset about social media. It’s confusing, complex, the unknown, a different world to what they are used to. It’s a drag, it sucks their time, their brain can’t compute what they are meant to do in terms of making a plan, creating content, or how it works.

So my role is to show them the good stuff, encourage them to want to be there, open their eyes to the possibilities it brings to their life and business.

Are you the bus driver of your community? Are you facilitating that transformation with your passion, drive (no pun intended, but I like it!), and consistency?