“If I Don’t Drive the Bus…”

I am writing this post on the birthday of one of my former bosses. As the absolute worst boss I ever had, this person will remain nameless. (This being said, many readers will be able to identify my former boss, having heard her use this expression on numerous occasions.) As much as I dislike her, there were lots of things about which she was right. One of these things is something we share in common: getting things done. She remarked to me, on countless occasions, that “If I don’t drive the bus, the bus will never leave the station,” meaning that, if she didn’t take charge of the situation (usually one involving a slow and/or poorly performing employee), nothing would get accomplished. Many years have passed since I worked for this person, however, I vividly recall her using this expression. In fact, I long ago adopted it into my frequent speech patterns. Similar to my former boss, I am a take charge person; I get things done; I move along at a fast pace that others find difficult to match, and in general, I drive the bus wherever it needs to go. Does anyone, other than me (the boss) see the piece of trash on the floor that needs to be picked up and thrown away? Is everyone waiting on me to tell them to hurry up, do their work, and meet or exceed the deadlines about which they are aware? Is anyone other than me going to get ready to go, leave on time and at the time we agreed upon, in order to arrive at our destination on time? Is anyone other than me going to check on concert tickets, hotel specifications, dinner reservations, etc. or shall I just do this for everyone while they sit back and hope I won’t notice they aren’t helping? Like my long ago former boss, I am the bus driver in my life. Hurry up; this bus is leaving the station with or without you!

Many years ago, too many to consider, an uncle of mine took me for a ride in his Beechcraft Bonanza, V tail and all.  I got to ride with him a few times – it was thrilling!  One memory I have of flying with him was that the yoke was connected in the middle of the console and had the ability to be lifted and pivoted to the pilot’s side or “co-pilot’s” side, so that the airplane could be piloted from either seat.  I know that many aircraft, small or large, maybe all, have dual controls of some fashion.  The reason this comes to mind in connection with Melissa’s post is that with such controls, perhaps more than one person can drive the bus.  I think that in our business, this is often true.  Almost like taking shifts while driving, Melissa and I share the driving depending on the road to be traveled.  On the highway of the consulting – writing reports and providing her opinions and insights, she is the lead driver.  I get to drive on the bumpy roads of dealing with business  matters, banks, accountants, etc., in addition to the “business” part of our cases.  Staying alert while driving a vehicle, flying a plane or operating a business is a never ending challenge!

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