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November 28, 2016
In the 14 years I've written this newsletter I've written everyone... until now. You see, my older brother who always looked out for me as a child (except for the time he broke my nose playing football) shared with me this powerful piece he wrote about becoming a driver of positive change. I hope you enjoy it. - Jon

Becoming a Driver of

Positive Change

If I believe something and want you to believe it, I am going to need a particular set of skills to make that happen. This is the definition of leadership; the ability to transfer belief.

You've heard that people don't quit their jobs; they quit their managers or bosses. This is because many managers are not leaders. The terms are not interchangeable.

In 2007, my brother, Jon Gordon, published a book called "The Energy Bus." It’s been a consistent Wall Street Journal Top-10 best-seller for the last 5 years and is a favorite book for managers, leaders, coaches and educators to distribute to their employees, students and players, as it reinforces the belief, through a simple story of transformation, that optimism is a competitive advantage in business, sports, school and life.

With close to 3 million books sold worldwide, and over 100 speaking engagements each year, Jon has the opportunity to engage many organizational leaders in many different industries. When I ask Jon what the consensus is to driving growth and change throughout an organization, without fail, the answer from every CEO is front-line leadership. Specifically, the ability of the manager at the branch, store, local or divisional level to influence and inspire their people, instead of just delegating tasks. Most employees never get the chance to interact with the CEO of an organization, so their direct boss is their leader. And, this is where the lack of consistency in the ability to transfer belief creates a gap in driving growth and change in people, and throughout the organization.

Given my background in performance improvement, experiential learning and leadership development, Jon and I collaborated 5 years ago to create "Driver of Positive Change." It's an interactive leadership development program that combines the principles of "The Energy Bus" with leadership and communication skills; transforming transactional task-driven managers into growth-driven, empowering, positive people leaders. We are proud of the impact the program is having on productivity and employee engagement across multiple industries.

These days, I believe we could all use a big dose of optimism and positivity so I wanted to share 4 "driving" tips from the program that you can implement to be a better people leader in work and life:

1) Use more positive communication.

While fear can be motivating, it can only last so long before people shut down or shut up. If you want to truly inspire your people to be more productive and collaborative for the long run, you must invest the time to replace your negative communication with more positive language.

2) Never complain to your people.

Leaders don't complain. Once you complain, you are creating a culture that says complaining is the norm, because the leader not only allows it, but practices it. Emotions are contagious and as a leader, you set the tone for your team. So, if you are having a bad day and let everyone know it, don't be surprised if productivity falters. Leaders are not allowed to have bad days.

3) Remember your vision.

As a leader, you must have a vision for yourself, your team and your customers and the conviction to see that vision realized. You must also be able to communicate that vision and what’s in it for your passengers. No one wants to get on a bus with a driver that doesn't know where they're going, or worse, doesn't even know how to drive.

4) Reinforce your relationships.

Strong relationships drive real motivation and change. You can have a great vision but your change initiative will fail if you don't have strong relationships with the people you lead. Communicate to connect, and show your people you care about them before you need something from them. Do that and your belief will transfer to your team in a more meaningful and powerful way.

If you would like to learn more about the Driver of Positive Change program contact me at

Enjoy the ride,



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