Kick the Bucket

Jeremy Lim (Flickr)

Jeremy Lim (Flickr)

Credibility. It’s another word for trustworthy, believable, authentic, integrity and, as a leaders, we’re sized up by people around us daily. Are we credible?

I don’t recall where I heard it first, or who said it, but they probably got it from someone else anyway. The point is, it’s one of those saying I’ve never forgotten. I use it in business all the time and I use it in my personal life as well. However, the difference in application is what’s driving this writing.

“Credibility; You gain it in droplets but kick it over in buckets full.”

In other words, it takes a long time to gain someone’s trust and respect. But, violate either one of those two and it’s a quick release back to empty.

I have noticed in business I am usually pointing out someone else’s shortcomings or failure to deliver. To be fair to myself, I use it when teaching direct reports basic leadership principles as well. But, more often than not, I’m in a conference room and pointing to the obvious to be smart. Example: “Such and such kicked the bucket on this one.”

In my family life it’s different though. It’s typically not me saying it at all. Generally, it is the voice in my head pointing out where I’ve screwed up. It’s when I respond in anger to one of my children and instantly wonder if they’ll try to hide the mistake next time. It’s me reminding myself that what I just allowed to happen, or often what I didn’t get around to doing, will subtract from my wife’s opinion of me.

If you consider all the personal interactions we encounter on a given day, there are literally hundreds of opportunities to gain droplets or kick the bucket. Now consider that sometimes you just have a bad day. How many bad days can one afford before they’re running on dry?

Leave work and home behind for a moment and consider our walk with Christ. Remember, God is all knowing. There are no secrets from Him. Thankfully, for all of us, His grace covers us from kicking the bucket. However, if not for His loving grace, if the rules were the same as at home or at work, would we be gaining droplets or kicking buckets?

Call to Action:

1. Think about a typical day at the office, how many opportunities do you have to gain droplets or kick buckets? The higher level of leadership, the more opportunity to kick buckets as well.

2. Think about your relationships at home, droplets or buckets?

3. What can we do to improve?

4. Thank God for His amazing grace.

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