In the summer of 2012 I began my conversion of being a regular bus rider. In the fall of that year, new leadership took over the reins of transit. Carol Cruise, who worked for Transit about all her life, was retiring as Director that fall.
From 2012 to now Transit has had four different directors. It seemed whatever could happen, happened and a new leader came to the helm. What I wondered was how, with all these leadership changes in this period of time, could they have kept the bus system running smoothly. It seemed, from the outside as a rider, you never would have known this revolving door of leadership changes was taking place. Everything kept going on without any major hitches. There were some route changes early on but the ridership seemed to adjust to them reasonably quickly.
I thought there had to be an unsung hero who kept it all together. So I began looking around and talking to those there during that time. I sent inquiry emails to Steven Stacye and Diane Gallion. Steven was interim director for a while between directors. As operations director, he oversaw the daily bus operations. Diane Gallion was constantly on the funding hunt for new and better buses, or buses they could get within their budget.
Steven Stacye and Diane Gallion both said the credit goes to the team. Not one person could be credited for keeping things going in stride. It was a team effort. The bus supervisors of Dale, David, Melissa solved the daily problems buses in route may have faced. Michelle upfront, Kathy and Susie maintained the details of the operation.
Both Steve and Diane emphasized to me, you really can't single out one person. They all hung together, worked together, through change after change in the front office director's chair. As a unit, they were unsung heroes. Without much fanfare they did their jobs.
Before Carol Cruise retired, she and her boss Kathy Fritts were over the Transit system. Carol's goal was to build a team that could run transit, knowing what to do, even without direct input from the director. Her desire was to cultivate a team that could run on its own.
When absent, they all could make good decisions on how to handle what came up. She and Kathy were unsung heroes.
The bus drivers all knew their jobs well, and could perform day-in and
day-out, knowing what do... self-directed leaders. They too held together and got the job done. Many give credit to having a quality group of bus supervisors to confer with and seek assistance when needed.
With Christopher Jones, and Kelly Turner now in the Transit driver's seats, as Associate General Manager over Transit and Transit Director, respectively, this seasoned team helped pave the way so Kelly and Chris could give due attention to some new advances coming up.
A great team... who shy away from being singled out and being the one in the spotlight, preferring to be recognized as a team. So the unsung heroes were how everyone at every position, did their job and worked with each other.
Lesson I learned.
Legendary people build others coming along to be the next legend to follow. When focusing on others' success and enabling each other, the success of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The result is a tremendously great company.
During these years of upfront changes, I couldn't find "that person" who was the unsung hero. But they, corporately, uniting as one, were the true heroes.