B65 bus stop
Image by threecee via Flickr

Yesterday I mentioned that I see myself as a chartered bus driver, and this blog as the bus with you as the passengers. I wanted to let you know that without passengers, buses don’t really have a need for existence, so your travels with me are important.

I want to expand on that a little and look at you and the buses you drive, and how you can help your own passengers.

Everyone Is On a Journey.

Some will always be passengers, happy to be along for the ride and meeting new passengers along the way.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this, and the interaction you gain from fellow passengers makes the journey even more interesting. Yet for every passenger, there’s also a bus driver – so how can you make your bus the one people want to travel on?

Be a Sales Person.

It might seem that a bus driver only has the one job – getting you to your destination – but there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes. He (or she, although I’ll use “he” just for easier use, if that’s okay) has to be the public face of the company he works for. He has to offer a positive view of the company at all times, and ensure that passengers stay with his service and not try someone else.

Be the sales person for your company. It doesn’t matter what your role in the business is – CEO, director, customer service or mail-room guy, every single thing you do reflects on your employers. If you give off a positive vibe, that will come across to the people you deal with every day, either in public or cross-company.

Times are hard enough as it is, without businesses crumbling from within – help make it the place you’d buy from and the positive knock-on effects can be long-term.

Safety First.

A bus driver has to make sure his passengers arrive safely. While they are on his bus, their well-being is paramount. He may have had a crappy day so far, or he may be going through personal issues, but they have to take a back seat while his passengers are traveling with him.

If you’re a business owner, look after your employees. Not just their physical well-being (although this is important) but their mental well-being as well. Be the approachable boss that really cares about how his workers are feeling, and have an open-door policy at all times. If you’re too busy at a given time, make the time later to speak with someone – and stick to it.

Time you have plenty of – happy employees are harder to come by. Make yourself available and keep an eye in your mirror at all times.

Be a Mind Reader.

To ensure his passengers are safely delivered to their destination, a bus driver has to be aware of his surroundings, both inside the bus and on the roads it’s traveling on. Other vehicles pulling out suddenly; red lights being jumped; pedestrians stepping off the sidewalk; how his passengers are interacting with each other – a bus driver needs to be aware of all this and more as he goes about his job. Mind reading becomes second nature.

Learn to read minds as well. If you’re running a business, monitor the tactics of your competitors and learn to gauge what their next move will be. Converse with your customers to plan ahead for the next three months, six months, a year even – keep abreast of what they want to help you get to where you want to be.

If you’re an employee, learn how your company works and what makes your leaders tick. Be pro-active at making their job easier, which in turn makes your job easier, which in itself makes the company more attractive and encourages success. Even in your personal life, be aware of those around you and where they want to be – knowing that will let you help then get there sooner, and you with it.

There are many kinds of bus drivers, just as there are many kinds of passengers. Which one you want to be is up to you, and there truly is no right or wrong.The one thing that does connect everyone is the journey itself.

How will you travel this year?

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Danny Brown
Co-author Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing. #1 marketing blog in world as per HubSpot. Husband. Father. Optimist. Pragmatist. Never says no to a good single malt. You can find me on Twitter - Google+ - LinkedIn.
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