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Getting the right people on your bus

#practice management May 13, 2021

One way to depict leadership is for the leader to take a group of people on a bus ride toward a destination. 


Here are the scenarios:


  1. Right People, Right Bus: Great, you’ve got the ideal situation and the prerequisite for a great team. Bon voyage!
  2. Right People, Wrong Bus: Uh-oh! However, no matter where the bus goes, they will probably have a good time on the journey. And together they can figure out how to get to their destination.
  3. Wrong People, Right Bus: Now the people are having fights, strife, and strain even if the bus is heading straight to the destination. If they ever get there in one piece…
  4. Wrong People, Wrong Bus: An awful coincidence; a recipe for disaster. Life is too short. Get out STAT!


Early in my practice, I thought that I could shape my team like a sculptor. Boy, was I wrong! 


We’re not on a crusade of changing people-- they’re either the right people or NOT! 


Inverson took an obscure steel company called Nucor from bankruptcy in the 60s to the Fortune 500 in the 70s. What was his secret?  He believed that you could teach a farmer how to roll steel, but you couldn’t teach a steelworker the ethic of a farmer. So Inverson cultivated the most productive steelworkers in the industry: workers who never grumbled or quit, who poured their soul into every day’s work. 


I’m not suggesting you fire your staff and start over, but you need to ask yourself the following constantly:


  1. Have I got the right people on the bus and the wrong people off?
  2. Have the right people got the right seats?