This is one of my favorite parables in Leadership. If leadership is influence, then surely we can all be leaders in different aspects. Enjoy.
Benny: The Man on the Bus
A teacher assigned her 12th-graders to pick a leader and write an essay. Most kids wrote about famous people, but a student named Julius titled his paper, “Benny: The Man on the Bus.”
“I’ve been taking a public bus to school for years,” he wrote. “Most passengers were going to work and almost no one ever talked to anyone else. “About a year ago, an elderly man got on the bus and said loudly to the driver, ‘Good morning!’ Most people looked up annoyed and the bus driver just grunted. The next day the man got on at the same stop and again he
said loudly, ‘Good morning!’ to the driver. By the fifth day, the driver greeted the man with a cheerful ‘Good morning!’ and Benny said loudly, ‘My name is Benny. What’s yours?’ The driver said his name was Ralph.
“That was the first time any of us heard the driver’s name and soon people began to talk to each other and say hello to Ralph and Benny. After about a month, Benny extended his cheerful ‘Good morning!’ to the whole bus. Within a few days his ‘Good morning!’ was returned by a whole bunch of ‘Good mornings’ and the entire bus seemed to be friendlier.
“If a leader is someone who makes something happen, Benny was our leader in friendliness.
“A month ago, Benny stopped getting on the bus. Some of us thought he died and no one knew what to do. The bus got awfully quiet again. “So I started to act like Benny and say, ‘Good morning!’ to everyone and they cheered up again. I guess I’m now the leader.”