The Bucket Filling Leader

Bucket Kindness

Recently, I came across the book “How Full Is Your Bucket? Positive Strategies for Work and Life.” The book reveals how even the briefest interactions affect your relationships, productivity, health, and leadership.

The authors share a simple metaphor of a dipper and a bucket, grounded in 50 years of research of how to greatly increase the positive moments in your work and your life — while reducing the negative.

As leaders, we have a high impact on the people we lead. After reading the book, it led me to think about the following:

As leaders, how can we keep our buckets full and how do we help the people we lead to keep their buckets full?

We experience literally hundreds of potential turning points in a given day. How many of those moments do you remember? Well a lot of it depends on the metaphor of the bucket filling.

So what is this all mean for leaders? As leaders we have interactions with people. We engage in conversations and opportunities for growth. positive attitude

Pretend for a moment that we each have an imaginary dipper. When we inspire a positive interaction with other people, we are using our dipper to fill their buckets.

When we fill other people’s buckets, we also fill our own. When we instigate a negative interaction with other people, we are using our dipper to empty their buckets.

When we use that dipper to empty other’s buckets, we also emptying our own bucket

If you want people to understand that you value their contributions and that they are important, the recognition and praise you provide must have meaning that is specific to each individual.

Leaders that can fill buckets are continuously increasing the following

Increase individual productivity.negative-and-positive-Communication

Increase employee engagement.

Increase employee retention.

Increase sense of loyalty.

Increase customer satisfaction.

What can leaders do?

Keep your attitude in check

Leadership and attitude goes together. Great leaders have a CAN DO attitude even in the most negative settings. But the key here is to set the mood for the rest of the group. When leaders have an infectious attitude, people want to follow.

Be a positive leader

No one wants to follow a negative leader. Studies show that great leaders are the ones that drive a positive momentum in their cultures. Job satisfaction and engagement is increased through positive interactions on a daily basis.

Every Moment matters

We all want to be around positive people right? Well, it begins with us. How can we be a positive force in the lives of others? Great leaders understand that each moment may not always be positive but most of the interactions through self-awareness will be uplifting to the people we lead.

Make it personal

The key to a great bucket filling is recognition and praise. Often times, leaders take for granted the specific and individual attention needed to make a personal connection. Everyone likes to be recognized in their own personalized way. It’s your job as leader to get to know the people you lead, so that you can tailor your personal recognition.

4 thoughts on “The Bucket Filling Leader

  1. Love the sentiments of this article and being as positive as you can is definitely critical for effective leaders, that said its also more important to be authentic. We cannot put a happy face on when we are truly troubled by something. To be an authentic leader means we make a choice when possible to focus on what can be done instead of what can’t, positive doesn’t always mean happy and smiling.


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