If you’re someone who spends a fair amount of time reading up on ideas for success, organization, and motivation, you’ve probably heard the idea that Jim Collins shared in his book Good to Great . It’s all about “getting the right people on the bus”. He expands on the idea, and talks about also needing to get them in the right seats, and then know where to drive the bus. It’s a great simple analogy for team building or hiring. But recently, while reading an interview with Parker J. Palmer in The Sun Magazine, I was really struck by something he said, which was all about getting OFF the bus. He was using the example of how a lot of people seem to relate to their faith. He likened going to church to being on a tour bus. The pastor is the driver, pointing out important sites along the way, with everyone looking out the window oohing & ahhing, but never getting off the bus to actually explore the landscape and put their beliefs to work.
Especially now that everyone (I’m probably as guilty as anyone!) has a publishing and commenting platform via the web, we seem to have an overabundance of experts on success, entrepreneurship, happiness, love – you name it. But how often are we really just opining and preaching from the comfort of our keyboard? How often are we getting out there and getting our hands dirty with the real work? I see this “sitting on the bus” tendency all the time in meetings with businesses, non-profits, activist groups, and every day on my friends’ Facebook feeds. That’s probably the REAL bus ride right there; the internet. It’s pretty easy to get riled up about the wrongs of the world, post links to articles about them, and wring our hands in the comments. And then sit on our butts on the bus.
I’ve been borrowing Parker J. Palmer’s little metaphor all week; it really resonates with people. Maybe it’s time for ME to get off the bus!