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Book Summary – The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy

Through a fictional story, the authors Ken Blanchard and Jon Gordon present 10 rules about using positive thinking and positive energy to create desired outcomes in life. These ideas are useful for anyone who wants to overcome challenges, build strong teams, and live a happy, fulfilling life. In this free article of The Energy Bus summary, you’ll get a synopsis of the novel with an overview of the principles for managing negativity and creating positive energy.

What’s “The Energy Bus” About?

To succeed in your personal and professional life, you must learn to manage people’s energy, including your own. This book explains how to manage negativity and create positive energy to bring desired outcomes for you, your team/organization and your family.

The Energy Bus summary - Positive ThinkingResearch shows that positive thinking and communication create better results in various aspects of life—from personal health to family relationships, teamwork, and success. Positive energy in this book refers to the joy, passion, enthusiasm, optimism, and sense of purpose that allow us to live and perform at a higher level. It affects how you lead/build your teams at work, how you manage challenges and adversities in life, and how you interact with others around you. It determines if you allow negative forces to drag you down, or if can counter those forces to bring out the best in others and yourself.

Through a novel about a George—a middle manager struggling with a series of challenges at work and at home—the authors present 10 rules to help you harness positive energy to overcome problems and setbacks in life.

The Energy Bus Story Synopsis

The story is about George, a manager at NRG, a lightbulb manufacturing company. George had a great start to his career and a loving family. Yet recently, nothing seemed to be going right, and he felt besieged by problems on all fronts.

At work, George’s team had been performing badly and was struggling with an upcoming product launch. George’s job was at risk unless he could turn things around quickly.

At home, his negativity and perpetual sense of doom-and-gloom was making everyone miserable. His wife threatened to leave him if he didn’t change.

George’s life seemed to be unravelling in front of him, and he felt helpless and frustrated. When his car broke down and he had to take the bus to work for 2 weeks, George felt like it was the last straw. Could he get any unluckier than this?

Yet, those 2 weeks turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The bus driver, Joy, was a woman full of energy and enthusiasm. After encountering so many passengers who were overworked, overwhelmed, and overstressed, she had made it her personal mission to energize each and every passenger on her bus. She called it the “Energy Bus”, and it was always full of cheerful passengers.

Initially Joy’s exuberance annoyed George, but he soon warmed up to her. Together with the other passengers on the Energy Bus, Joy progressively imparted the “10 rules for the ride of your life” that transformed George’s perspectives and attitudes. As he let go of his negativity, things started to change for the better at work and at home.

By the end of 2 weeks, George managed to rally his work team, successfully launch the new product, and renew his relationship with his wife and children. He was amazed at his profound shift, and decided to keep taking the Energy Bus even when his car was repaired.

What are the 10 Rules for The Energy Bus?

Here are the 10 rules that led to George’s transformation:

The Energy Bus summary - 10 rules for a positive fulfilling life

In our full 12-page version of The Energy Bus summary, we’ll elaborate more on the each of the 10 Rules and the accompanying steps you can take to start applying them.

Rule #1: You’re the Driver

Life is like a bus ride. You can only control the journey and destination when you’re in the driver’s seat. Make a real decision to take control of your life. It’s your bus, and you get to choose where you go and what kind of ride it will be.

Rule #2: Channel your Energy in the Right Place

Everything is made of energy, including physical objects, people, and thoughts. To bring your vision to life, you must first focus on it. This begins with your thoughts.

Our thoughts carry energy, and we attract what we think about the most. The more you focus on something, the more it shows up in your life. Write down your vision of what you want, visualize it daily, and stop complaining about what you don’t want.

Rule #3: Fill the Tank with Positive Energy

It’s not enough to have vision and focus. You also need fuel to get to your desired destination. Positive energy propels your bus forward, while negative energy clogs up your engine. Give yourself positive energy boosts throughout the day, so you can overcome negativity and motivate/energize others around you.

Rule #4: Invite Others on the Journey

With a clear vision/focus for your journey and fuel in your tank, you’re now ready to invite people onto your bus, and to share your vision with them. The more positive people you have on the bus, the more you can generate and spread the positive energy.

Rule #5: Don’t Waste Energy on Those Who Refuse to Board

Accept that some people will get on your bus and some won’t. Don’t take it personally, and don’t don’t waste time/energy on those who refuse to come onboard.

Rule #6: Remove the Energy Vampires From Your Bus

There will always be negative people who kill productivity and sabotage your efforts by instilling doubts and fear. They are like energy vampires that suck the life out of you and your passengers. Put up a “No Energy Vampires Allowed” sign and remove such people from your bus.

Rule #7: Use Enthusiasm to Attract and Retain Passengers

Emotions are contagious. This rule is about leading from the heart, to infect others with your positive energy and emotions.

Rule #8: Love your Passengers

Besides their enthusiasm, great leaders show genuine care and concern for the people around them. Love your passengers by: making time for them, listening to them, recognizing them, serving them, and bringing out the best in them.

Rule #9: Drive with Purpose

Along the journey, you will inevitably encounter setbacks. Without a purpose, you won’t have the energy or motivation to persist. On the other hand, when you’re working on something truly meaningful, you’ll rarely feel bored or tired.

Rule #10: Have Fun and Enjoy the Ride

The title says it all. Have fun on your ride!

Getting More from “The Energy Bus”

This story was inspired by a true experience by author Jon Gordon, when he met a bus driver who impacted him with his positive energy and wisdom. Ready to start your own Energy Bus? Do check out our full book summary bundle where we elaborate on each of the 10 rules above, with 11 steps to start your energy bus. This bundle includes an infographic, 12-page text summary, and a 26-minute audio summary.
The Energy Bus summary - book summary bundle

The book is written in a lively and engaging style, with bits of facts, anecdotes and research incorporate inside. You can purchase the book here, visit The Energy Bus website for more details.

Do also check out our free summaries of What to Say When You Talk to Yourself (for specific tips for managing your self-talk) and The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working (for practical strategies to manage your energy for peak performance).

About the Authors of The Energy Bus

The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy was written by Ken Blanchard and Jon Gordon.

Ken Blanchard, PhD is one of the most influential leadership experts in the world. He has co-authored 60 books. In 2005 he was inducted into Amazon’s Hall of Fame as one of the top 25 bestselling authors of all time. He’s also the recipient of numerous leadership awards and honors. Together with his wife, Margie, Ken founded The Ken Blanchard Companies, a leading international training and consulting firm.

Jon Gordon is an author, speaker, trainer and consultant focusing on leadership, culture, sales, and teamwork. He holds a Bachelor of Science in human ecology from Cornell University and a Master of Arts in teaching from Emory University.  Do check out more leadership or team-building resources from Jon Gordon’s website.

The Energy Bus Quotes

“Positive people, positive communication, positive interactions, and positive work and team cultures produce positive results.”

“If you want to change your situation you must first change your thoughts.”

“Sometimes we have to see what we don’t want, to know what we do want.”

“You haven’t failed until you stop trying.”

“Just as every cell in the body beats to the frequency of the heart, everyone around you will beat to your frequency and your energy.”

“When you bring out the best in others you can’t help bringing out the best in yourself.”

“You have only one ride through life so give it all you got and enjoy the ride.”

Click here to download The Energy Bus summary & infographic

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