Throw the Seats Off the Bus

Dr. Kevin Gazzara
4 min readMay 16, 2019

By Dr. Kevin Gazzara and Dr. Murtuza Ali Lakhani


Who wouldn’t want Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Sachin Tendulkar, and the Williams sisters on their team? They are the superstar athletes of their game. But what would happen if Beckham were to play basketball, Jordan cricket, Woods football, Tendulkar tennis, and the Williams’ Sisters soccer? Would they per­form at those sports as they do at the top of their own games? Certainly not!

When we consider Jim Collins’ book with the Good-to-Great instruction of “getting the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus,” we over­look the fact that we could have the best of people in the bus but if they lack passion and strength for their jobs, we commit a sin as egregious as allowing the wrong people on the bus.

Would have Steve Jobs been effective in a bureaucratic organization? Would Bill Gates be an asset on a political team? No, and yet, these people are extraordi­nary heroes when they play in arenas where they’re passionate and strong.

The 3 Types of Passengers

The millions of “passengers” who board the proverbial bus daily fall into three categories: 1) Performers, 2) Posers, and 3) Paupers.

1.Performers are the “right people on the bus,” and they fit well into the right seats. Being seated in the jobs that they love and are effective at, they demonstrate engagement, critical thinking, creativity, and diligence.

2. Posers are also the “right people on the bus,” yet they are misfit into their seats. They are adept at switching positions depending on prevailing conditions, they keep their leaders and everyone else perplexed. Posers are indifferent about their jobs, and their performance is mediocre at best.

3. Paupers too are the “right people on the bus,” but these poor souls are crammed into ill-fitting seats. After much neglect, they have turned into passive and dependent followers. They present a steady image of alienation, cynicism, and dejection. The Paupers dislike their jobs and are ineffective.

Initiating the Change

How can you convert your Posers and Paupers into Performers? By keep­ing the people on board, but throwing their seats off the bus.

Dr. Kevin Gazzara

CEO of Magna Leadership Solutions, Certified Positive Intelligence Coach, Management Expert, Professor, Speaker, and Author. Contact: