Are You a Filler or a Dipper?
By: David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Recently I heard that my grandson came home from school and told his mom that “we all have buckets.” Apparently, his teacher taught them that everyone has a bucket and when we do nice things for others we are filling their buckets. If we do bad or mean things to others, we are taking things out of their buckets. The teacher went on to add that when we add things to other people’s buckets, our bucket gets full as well, but if we take things out or spill other people’s buckets, our bucket empties too. Let me remind you, Ethan is five, and I am quite impressed that he is being taught such profound leadership skills in Kindergarten. I am a proud Grandpa.

When I saw Ethan, I asked him what he learned about buckets. His eyes immediately lit up, and he said, “we all have a bucket, and we are either Dippers or Fillers.” I asked him to explain a dipper to me. He responded with such a simple yet profound truth, “Dippers are people who are mean, or bullies and Fillers are people who are nice and kind to other people.” I did some quick research and found the following definition: Bucket dippers rob us of happy feelings by refusing to help with a task or by saying or doing cruel things. A person can be a bucket filler or a bucket dipper. The way to fill a bucket is to be kind to someone.

In his book 25 Ways to Win With People, John Maxwell lists all sorts of ideas we can use to fill people’s buckets. One of my favorites is to do something for someone that they couldn’t do for themselves.  Now that is some serious bucket filling.

This topic reminded me of an email I sent out last May, titled Have We Forgotten How to be Kind. We didn’t have a podcast back then so Marisa, and I never did a deeper dive into that topic. Take some time and join us on The Next Page as we take a closer look at John’s book and other ideas that we have come up with to become great Bucket Fillers.

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