Carrying Buckets

Are you a leader, manager, supervisor, sales person, volunteer, or parent? If you are, keep reading…

How many buckets do you carry every day? Buckets are the actions you take to do your “job”. My guess is that it’s a lot! Maybe too many buckets.  And, then again, maybe many of those buckets aren’t even yours. That’s right, we often carry other people’s buckets too. Isn’t that just a bummer?

The best illustration I can think of is from a parenting perspective because, in my humble opinion, this is where parenting often goes really wrong.  When I think back on my own life, how many times did I just do the thing I asked my kids to do? And why? Because it was easier, quicker, and frankly, I was better! But, wow, those buckets were sure heavy at times. And what happens when we are tired and frustrated and carrying heavy buckets? Yep. Stuff spills!

Here’s the real fallout when you carry your kids’ buckets, or from a business perspective, when you carry your team’s buckets.  You teach them they’re not worthy. You teach them you’ll do it better. You teach them not to try. You teach them that you don’t trust them. You teach them to eventually carry their team’s (or kids’) buckets. You teach them impatience. You teach them to limit their productivity to what they can do, rather than what the team can do. You teach them short term thinking, which can be long term costly – financially, relationally, emotionally.

The buckets are getting pretty heavy, aren’t they?

It’s time to put some down, and let others do what is expected of them. Let the right people carry the right buckets. Focus on your own buckets – one of which is to TEACH others how to CARRY THEIR OWN BUCKETS! Teaching takes time. It’s a heavy bucket, and it’s filled with a powerful tool – equipping. 

Carry that equipping bucket any time you want to do something for someone else who really should be doing it for themselves. Equip by teaching, demonstrating, and, ultimately, handing it over.

Think about the buckets you pick up this week. Should you really be carrying them? If not…put them down or grab the equipping bucket!