If we were playing Jeopardy, the clue I’m about to give deserves to be the Daily Double: The three “buckets” we are committed to filling in the year of LEAD 365. 

If you were the first to your buzzer, you would give the following answer (in the form of a question, of course): What is being a person worth following, casting vision, and building great teams?

If you bet all your winnings, you would have just doubled your money.

Even though everyone takes something different away from their year of LEAD 365, these are the three things we hope everyone takes away with them. We called them “buckets” when we introduce them in chapter 1:

  • a clearer sense of what it means to be a person worth following
  • the importance of creating clarity around purpose, vision, and values
  • how to build great teams.

I’ve started to notice some things about these buckets in people. Many of us have a bucket where we are particularly strong. In fact, we are so solid in that one bucket it can be tempting to think that that one bucket is all we need to be a great leader.

For instance, one of us might say this:

I’m a person worth following: I have great character, and I am a person others can count on to keep my word and walk my talk. I live with integrity and I live out my values. That strength alone is all that’s really needed for organizational success. That alone will ensure that the right people are on my team and that we are headed in the right direction.

Another of us might say this:

I build great teams. I have a knack for spotting talent and potential. I can quickly assess a person and where they can be most effective. My radar is excellent when it’s time to part ways with someone. I develop the people around me. That strength alone is all that’s really needed for organizational success. With the right people I don’t really need a clear picture of the future and furthermore, who I am as a person isn’t really relevant.

Finally, another of us might say this:

I create and cast vision. I not only know our preferred future, I know how to get there and can articulate it in a compelling way. That strength alone is all that’s needed for organizational success. The right people will automatically be a part of my great vision, and the wrong people will stay away. And furthermore, my great vision alone is what makes me worth following.

The interesting thing is that it is our very strength in one of the buckets that can cause us to believe that that bucket is all we need to be a great leader. We really need all three buckets. Maybe you remember the results of your leadership audit that actually measured this. Which bucket had your highest score? Which bucket had your lowest score?

Here are a couple of final questions for you to think about this week: 

  • Which bucket is your strongest? 
  • Have you bought into the thinking, maybe without even realizing it, that your one strong bucket is all you need?

Great organizations need three-bucket leaders. It has been our privilege to watch this happen repeatedly with our alumni. Keep developing yourself as a great three-bucket leader.

Lead on!

Image by A Princess. Used under CC by 2.0 license.