Journey of the Bus

In today’s post Paul Azad, the founder of ServiceTree goes over the journey, the bus, and who’s on board. 


The journey, the bus, and who’s on board.


When I talk about the journey on the bus, I’m talking about the business direction that the organization is going. As your business becomes bigger, as soon as you’ve got more than just yourself in an organization, it’s really important that your team are very clear as to the direction that this organization is heading. It’s not as much about them telling the business owner what they want to do. But it’s more understanding what we’re trying to achieve as an organization. 


Communicate the message


It’s really important that we communicate that message to our people. Some organizations, always refer to their vision on a mission statement. And I totally agree that they’re very important things to have in an organization. But sometimes they are very abstract, they’re very much designed to be published somewhere that an external person can see. 


Now, when you’re working with your team, day in and day out, you want to be able to show more than just that document to people, you got to be able to demonstrate, and you want to be able to easily communicate what you’re trying to achieve with your organization. So what I talked about is the bus ride. 


The bus ride


The bus ride is referring to the journey that this organization is on. Each of the people in this space, your staff members, and they have decided to be on the bus because they’re employed, or they’re working as part of your organization. Now, it’s really important to be able to communicate really efficiently and very clearly to your people as to what you’re trying to achieve with this organization. 


Hence,  talked about the bus. The people on the bus, and we’re heading in a direction, right? Now, the direction is very clear. Because generally when your people join your team, in the interview process, you’ll cover what you’re trying to achieve or what you’re trying to do and what your goals are. 


The Direction of the Bus


Now,  it’s really important that you’re able to make it very clear to your people that they can actually get off the bus if they feel the need. It’s not a bad thing if you’re if you have a team member, or you have team members that decide that you know what? Maybe this bus ride isn’t heading in the direction that I want. And I’m gonna go get off at the next stop. Why is that important? And why is it important that your team doesn’t feel that is a bad thing? Because you don’t really want to have people on your bus that are going to be happy, or they’re going to be upset, because while you’re going a totally different direction to where they thought you were going. 


The Seat in the Bus


As well as the direction of the boss, it’s also really important to be clear as to which seats in the bus each of the people are sitting on. Generally, as the founder, and the CEO of an organization, you’ll be sitting in the driver’s seat. And it’s very common to have somebody like your operations manager, or your VP of Operations, sitting in the seat next to you, the bus driver, sort of similar to a copilot or a navigator position in a racing car or a touring car. 


You’ll generally find your leader, your founder, your CEO of an organization is very clear about the direction that they want to head and that’s the actual bus driver, and your operations manager or your operations lead is going to be very clear as how they’re going to get you there. So those two seats are generally going to be very clear, and if not, you really want to make sure those seats are very clear before you try to fill any other positions in the actual bus. 


Once you got those two seats covered, the other seats are all the rest of your team members. Now it’s really important that you’re able to allocate seats to each of your team and be very clear as to why those team members are in those seats. What is the purpose of that seat and how they’re going to help this journey be successful? If you’ve ever been on a bus ride, like as a school kid, with your teachers, you’re going out to a camp or something, there’s a lot of fun that can be had in that three or four-hour ride or drive to the campsite. And if you ever think back to how it was at school, you know the teachers would sing songs, you’d play games, but it was always important and you would notice that where those teachers were sitting on the bus we’re always quite strategic. And it was always about balancing the kids, making sure people were having fun, but also making sure everybody was in sync. 


So similarly with that, you want to make sure your team members understand what seat they’re going to be sitting on, how their position in the boss is going to help the journey be successful, and having that position in the bus is going to make it, an enjoyable journey, and what success looks like? And so once you are able to be able to clear that and communicate that team, and ensure that your team is not afraid to have a conversation with you, as the bus driver and say – Actually, I think it’s time that we get off this bus – What that also does is it makes it very transparent to your team that you’re open to listening to them, you’re able to have that conversation, and if things are not heading in the right direction, and you need to turn your boss into a slightly different cause, because of the business requirements, maybe because of the financial environment, there are many reasons that as a business owner, or as a business leader, you sometimes have to slightly change, or maybe even pivot your direction that the bus is going. 


This is a simple way to communicate with your team, your vision, your mission, and how they can help you be successful. And using other terminologies that, are not related to business, because a lot of times you’ll find people within your team, and they don’t have a big online experience in a business or they might not have had experience in a commercial environment. So mission statements, vision statements, although in big corporations and big organizations, they’re just expected and they’re just a norm. 


In an MSP, it’s not very uncommon to have, quite young business people in your team, having your level one or level one or T1 technicians straight out of college, straight out of high school is definitely not uncommon. It doesn’t mean that the wrong people for this bus ride just means that we’ve got to make sure we’re able to communicate to them as efficiently and as effectively as we can with you people that have been in the business world for 10 or 15 years.

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