Retreat Enforces Positivity

Published 4:33 pm Tuesday, March 27, 2018

This past weekend the City of Bainbridge took their annual City Council planning retreat, where they heard from former UGA and NFL football player, Rennie Curran, about how to fuel positive energy into their life, work and team.

Curran spoke about the bestselling book, The Energy Bus, and provided the City with 10 rules for the ride of their life.

The first rule was to be the drivers of their own bus. He made everyone ask themselves where their bus was going and what steps they would take to always ensure they would be the driver of their own bus.

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Once everyone established how they could be their own driver, he asked them what their desire, vision, and focus was to move their bus in the right direction, which served as the second rule.  In order to be successful on a team, or even when routing out a bus drive, people have to have a vision of where they are going. Curran encouraged everyone to wake up daily and question, “what am I doing today that pushes me towards my vision and goals?”

The third rule was to fuel their ride with positive energy. He made each attendant right down negative things they have previously said to themselves, and rephrase them into something positive. For instance, instead of saying “I’ll never be as good as that football player,” change it into “I practice hard every day, and am working to strengthen myself so I can become one of the greats.”

The fourth step was to invite people aboard the bus and share the vision for the road ahead. Everyone was challenged to write a 30 second commercial on why others should get on their energy bus. Councilwoman Roslyn Palmer and her team did a team huddle, where the chanted “no fuss on the bus,” while Councilwoman Glennie Bench and Mayor Edward Reynolds did a new rendition to Wheels on the Bus with their team.

Rule five was to not waste energy on others who choose not to join the bus. Curran instructed everyone to identify ways in which individuals can still work with those people who don’t want to get on board with the plans in place. Speaking up, empathizing with them, being positive, constructive and meaningful, being solution based and following up with them were some solutions offered.

The sixth rule was to post a sign that says, “No energy vampires allowed.” Energy vampires are the people who bring down the team by only pointing out the negative things instead of accomplishments and strives forward the team has made. The costs of “energy vampires” can range from loss of a team’s vision of the future, self-doubt, a loss of talent from other team players, a downfall in customer relations and a decreased morale. Everyone created a list of rules that passengers should follow if they were going to join their energy bus. If they choose to not follow these rules, they will be classified as an energy vampire.

Rule seven stated that enthusiasm attracts more passengers and energizes them during the ride. Staff members were asked to get up and share what they enjoyed about working with their team and why they were passionate about this job.

Love your passengers was rule eight. Everyone was asked to write down three actions they can take to express their appreciation and love for their team, customers and family. Staffers can often bring out the best in others by telling them their greatest quality and recognizing them when deserved.

Curran instructed everyone to write a purpose statement for rule nine, which was drive with purpose. He wanted everyone to read their purpose statements daily to remind themselves what they were doing this for.

The last rule was to have fun and enjoy the ride. Everyone deserves time to slow down and enjoy what is happening in the moment. Slowing down can enhance joy and productivity, Curran reasoned.

He finished with asking everyone to remember not to try and drive anyone else’s bus and not to compare their ride with anyone else’s. Everyone has their own path, so focus on your own ride and drive with the best of what you have inside.