Chapter 3Positive Leaders Drive Positive Cultures

Culture is not just one thing. It's everything.

Positive leaders drive positive cultures. I use the word drive here because as a leader you are the driver of your bus and you have a big role and responsibility in creating the kind of journey you and your team will experience. One year I spoke at a school district and talked with all their leaders, mostly school principals. I shared the same principles and strategies with everyone. At the end of the year, I heard from two principals from the district. One principal had given every member of her staff The Energy Bus to read and followed up with staff meetings where she discussed and reinforced the principles each month. She focused all of her energy on creating a positive culture, one meeting, one conversation, one interaction, one positive message, one teacher, and one student at a time. She completely transformed the morale, engagement, energy, and culture of her school. The other principal I heard from was very disappointed and told me that she had handed a copy of The Energy Bus to all her teachers, encouraged them to read it, and wondered why it didn't have much of an impact on her school and culture. I realized in that moment that you can give a team a bus, but unless you have drivers, it doesn't move. It's not a book that makes a difference. It's not a lecture or a keynote. It's the leader that makes the difference. It's the leader that must drive the culture.

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