Blog Archives

Tips from a Leader

Pete and I are committed to passing on “tips” via this blog, even when those tips didn’t originate from our own experience.  I read an August 10, 2013 NY Times interview by Adam Bryant with Hugh Martin, CEO of Sensity Systems (and previously with Apple and 3DO), that inspired this post.  Here are some of the principles Martin relayed:

Communication is critical. – Martin has a weekly “no-holds-barred” meeting with his entire staff.  “We talk about anything that’s important and it’s a great opportunity to model behavior to every single person in the company.”  How often do you meet with your entire staff?  Do they get to generate at least some of the topics for discussion?  How have you communicated that they can speak honestly without fear of repercussion? Read the rest of this entry

Repeat Performances: A Rant

Sometimes a school transportation director or manager who has been to one or more of my presentations pays me the ultimate compliment:  “You’ve made a difference for kids.”  What more could I ask for?  Well, the “more” I seek is a sense that the same problems don’t constantly recur.

I’m a story teller, and the stories I tell in my presentations are the situations I read about in lawsuits.  They can make for heart breaking reading, tragic tales, but serve as excellent training tools.  And so, when I put my hard-core lawyer’s suit of armor on, and steel myself to the reality that these stories are about real kids who have, often, suffered real pain, I can actually find some perverse satisfaction in coming across a new story. Read the rest of this entry

The Power and Folly of Sorry

As I stood waiting in line to register at a hotel, I had time to think about the often uttered but seldom meant “I’m sorry.” Contrary to Elton John’s assertion (“Sorry seems to be the hardest word,”) this one customer service agent seemed to be a master at it. He would draw closer to the customer and quietly say “I’m so sorry.” Every once in a while he’d add the words “for your inconvenience.” If the customer was really irate he might even offer them a free soda or chocolate bar. Read the rest of this entry

Preparing Students for the World Beyond

We frequently urge school transportation professionals to see themselves as an integral part of the education process.  At the same time, I often become aware of drivers’ reluctance to comment on students’ inappropriate communications, disrespectful behavior, and failure to follow the rules.  Sometimes that reluctance is the subject of court cases that have led me to say, often, “Doing nothing is never the right thing” when students bully or harass other students.  “Doing nothing” is certainly “never the right thing” when students fail to follow essential rules of conduct that are directly related to the safety of everyone on the bus – rules as basic as staying in their seats while the bus is moving. Read the rest of this entry

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