A ship lost at sea for many days suddenly sighted a friendly vessel. From the mast of the unfortunate vessel was seen a signal: “Water, water. We die of thirst.” The answer from the friendly vessel at once came back: “Cast down your bucket where you are.” A second time, the signal, “Water, send us water!” went up from the distressed vessel. And was answered: “Cast down your bucket where you are.” A third and fourth signal for water was answered: “Cast down your bucket where you are.” The captain of the distressed vessel, at last heeding the injunction, cast down his bucket and it came up full of fresh, sparkling water from the mouth of the Amazon River.
Sometimes leadership is just about taking the plunge or about casting your bucket down as in the above story. Because if you won’t do it, then how can your expect your team to push themselves beyond their comfort zones and search for solutions where none seem apparent? I attended a workshop today on “The Five Dysfunctions of Teams” based on Patrick Lencioni’s book of the same name. And the heart of the workshop for me was that for every behaviour you want from your team and every attitude you want them to adopt, you have to do it first! Seems obvious and a little trite but may need to be a constant reminder for new and experienced leaders!!
So don’t forget to take your metaphorical bucket with you to work tomorrow – it may be required sooner than you think 🙂