Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

How Big is Your Bucket?

Written by: on May 30, 2013

How Full is Your Bucket by Tom Rath and Donald Clifton is a good reminder for us to live healthy and productive lives by enriching the lives of those around us. I have been reflecting on the five strategies it encourages us to live our lives by. They are:

  1. Prevent bucket dipping; The concept is to keep others buckets full by being positive and not using negative words or comments to dip water out of their buckets. This made me more aware of the negative comments or sarcasm I was thinking of sharing and helped me to not share them. I found when I stopped the negative comments, it made me feel better and added positive feelings to my bucket.
  2. Shine the light on what is right; I like this concept and it is one I have worked at cultivating in my leadership goals. I have found catching people doing the right think and thanking them for it is a great encouragement and fills buckets. When I was a in a past leadership role, I had the opportunity to help my leadership team develop an annual Star Awards program modeled from the Oscars. We developed an “Appreciation Certificate” that any stakeholder could fill out catching team members doing the right thing and giving extraordinary customer service. These were viewed monthly by the leadership team and an employee of the month was chosen (they received $100 plus a parking space of their choice). Then all the certificates were reviewed at the end of the year and Stars were chosen for different categories (they received $500 and recognition on a perpetual trophy). Tuxes were worn, the red carpet was rolled out and luxury cars picked up our winners! It was truly a fun event. It still goes on today.
  3. Make best friends; Meeting with people over meals and events can strengthen friendships. Integrity, doing what one says they will do also strengthens friendships. Most important, caring and checking in with friends fill buckets. My wife is my best friend and I work at consistent communication and a date night once a week. This fills my bucket.
  4. Give Unexpectedly; My wife excels at this strategy. We recently took friends out to dinner who are moving and she gave them special gift. They were very appreciative.
  5. Reverse the Golden Rule;Filling others buckets include the strategy of treating others as they want to be treated. This is an important customer service concept. We all want to be treated as we want others to treat us. This strategy is particularly important in working with people from other cultures. My bucket gets fuller when people treat me as I want them to treat me.

A thought that was not shared in the book which fills my bucket is going to the man who gives living water. When I have my solitude time with Jesus most mornings, he gives me everlasting water when he says in the Bible,”…the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life,” John 4:13. It is my prayer that as Jesus fills my bucket, I can fill others buckets from his love and these 5 strategies of bucket filling from Tom Rath.

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