Moving Your Bus

Leaders create and ensure a diverse and collaborative working culture which encourages openness, transparency and trust.

Teamwork is crucial to the success of any organisation, and the members of any team are the key to unlocking success. Leaders set expectations and hold themselves and others accountable for proactively working together.

On Wednesday, senior leaders from across the public sector and additional participants drawn largely from the education services learned to recognise how members of a team fall into different categories as well as proven strategies that will encourage everyone to keep the “bus” moving.

The half-day continuous professional development event was sponsored by the Portfolio of the Civil Service and is part of the ongoing programme to support the first priority goal of our 5-Year Strategic Plan: Develop Exceptional Leadership.

After the event, Ron Clark spoke with April Cummings from Radio Cayman to share key messages.


AC: It’s been an amazing day. For those that couldn’t be here, tell us a little bit more about what it is you’re doing.

RC: Today was all about firing everyone up, and firing up the leaders to get them excited about doing their jobs to the best of their abilities.

It’s all about making sure that Cayman is an outstanding place where everyone is working hard, and trying to improve the society and culture. So it’s all about trying to infuse everyone with some energy today.

AC: I had a great opportunity to actually watch you do your thing. You had people laughing, smiling, and engaged. It was really exciting to be a part of. That positive attitude – how important is that?

RC: When you want to be a leader or to contribute to your community, the most important thing is to have good energy and to be positive.

As part of my speech today I was trying to show that if you have an uplifting outlook, enthusiasm; if you see things that are positive instead of seeing things that are negative; if you point out what’s great instead of pointing out what’s bad – then you’re going to find more success. That’s what today’s focus was.

AC: Tell me a little more about ‘Moving Your Bus,’ what does that mean?

RC: I wrote a book called ‘Move Your Bus’ and it’s about runners that really push the bus, joggers that are doing what they can, walkers that are slower, and then riders that aren’t really contributing.

And the bus is a symbol of success, so what we want is for everyone to be runners. We want everyone to contribute the best they can, because when we all contribute all that we can, you’ll start to see a lot of progress and therefore, success. That’s the focus of the bus going in the right direction.

AC: The questions today were quite interesting because you had people at all different levels asking questions. A lot of those questions were about how to manage the role that individuals are actually in and how to motivate people. Are those common questions you receive?

RC: Whether you’re a Principal or the head of a Ministry, or no matter what you’re doing, it all comes down to relationships with people. If you let people know that you care about them, that you value them as individuals and that you see their talents, people will work hard for you.

When you create good energy in an organisation or in a team, people are going to be proud to be a part of the team and they will do more. So, no matter what field you’re in, as a leader, when you create good energy and a positive spirit, it’s going to lead to a more productive organisation.

AC: What’s the one thing you want to make sure people take away from today?

RC: The heartbeat of every community is the education system, and so I ask everyone in the community here to contribute to teachers and to let them know that they are valued and respected.

Because when you have a society where teachers are truly respected, you’re going to have students who say, “I want to do that when I grow up.” You’re going to get the best and the brightest joining the education system. And when a country has a strong education system it will tend to be a more successful country.

So, I’d like people to value teachers more and to let students know that education is a priority in your household.

AC: Finally, I think one of the things that touched me was that you still have a strong core of accountability. I thought your concept of earning the right to do things was very interesting.

RC: My grandmother raised me, and she was all about having a work ethic and performing. She wasn’t the type to coddle me and tell me I was doing a good job. She was the type to say, “No, that wasn’t good enough, you can do better.”

She was very real with me, so I tend to be real with my team members and with my students. When they’re great, I tell them they’re great. But when they miss the mark or they aren’t doing well, I explain how we can make things better.

I always hold people accountable for their actions. So, I have found that when you are specific with people and show them a road to success, it will be much easier for them to get there.

A lot of times, leaders of communities will say, “Oh, we’ve got to try harder. We’ve got to do more for the community.” But those are words that don’t really mean anything. Once you specifically spell out to people exactly how you can help the community and people see that road map, they will be more willing to follow it.

AC: Thank you so much for your time, we really appreciate it.