Fillin’ Buckets

Earlier this week my youngest son got to lead a small part of an assembly for the third and fourth grade classes at his school.  He was really excited about his part, he got to get up in front of everyone at the end and kind of lead a cheer — you know kids love being loud at school!  I asked him what the assembly was about, and he said, “fillin’ buckets”.  “What?”, was my reply.  He said, “you know, you can say some things that will fill someone’s bucket, or you can say some things that will empty their bucket.”  My reply, “Oh, you mean like making deposits into someone’s emotional bank account.” His reply back,  “No, filling buckets, it has nothing to do with banks.”

Fillin’ Buckets. Simple, yet hard.

Today, I want to make it easy for you to do two things: 1. Fill your own bucket; 2. Fill some buckets.

Here’s a list of things that will help:

1. Surround yourself with positive people. Even if it’s only one person.  Even if it’s only yourself.

2. Connect at a deeper level.  Anyone can talk about the weather or what TV show they watched last night.  Strive to go deeper.

3. Hug someone who doesn’t expect it.

4. Spend a little money on someone else.

5. Take 5 minutes to appreciate all that you have.

6. Eat lunch or dinner outside.

7. Tell one person, you don’t normally talk to, one positive, genuine thing about why you like what they do.

8. Unplug and listen.

One last tip.  Leaders, as many of you are that read this, tend to be bucket fillers, because it’s part of the ‘job’.  Great leaders are genuine in this, but it’s harder than it looks, because many times our employees feel like we might just be doing this because it’s part of our role.  Catch 22.  How do you combat this?  Fill the buckets of those above you.  Leaders rarely get their buckets filled.  Try it, you’ll be amazed at how it makes you feel.  There’s something remarkable that happens when you start filling buckets, you realize it doesn’t matter who it is that you’re filling, it feels good!

What am I doing today?  I’m fillin’ buckets!


4 thoughts on “Fillin’ Buckets

  1. Love this, Tim! Staying positive and showing gratitude for those who add value to your work or your life is not only important for them, it’s important for you. Here, we preach that recognizing our employees and peers helps them stay engaged – but that comes with a bonus: it also makes you feel better about being there. I hope this message continues to spread!

  2. So timely! Tonight when I picked up my 2nd grader and asked what was great about his day, he said “it was great because I got to do what I’m best at, bucket filling!” Not sure I can say bucket-filling is what I’m BEST at… but it probably should be.

  3. I went to my daughter’s third grade open house last night. Her teacher has signs saying, “Whose bucket can you fill today?” all over the classroom. I love the concept and it’s extremely easy for them to grasp at that age. She was so proud to tell me all of the things she has done to fill other people’s buckets and how helping them fills her bucket too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.