Who's Filling Your Bucket?
If I asked you to name your mentor, could you do it? Do you have one? Can you picture their face or hear their voice? Or are you still waiting for that right someone? If you don't resonate with the word mentor, then let me ask you this... who's filling your bucket?
Pick your cliche.
"You can't pour from an empty cup."
"Put your own oxygen mask on before assisting others.""If mama's not happy, nobody's happy."
You've heard them all, but have you heeded the warning?
We all need filling.
We need a person who breathes life into us, encourages us, lifts us up, and makes us feel more like ourselves again. Because of them, we feel energized, renewed, refreshed, and restored. We then do the same for others.
If you're a leader of people, it's critical to have these life-giving people on your team. Wondering if you're a leader? Notice who's following you. You may be leading in your home or in the workplace. If you're in any role where others are looking to you for guidance, you're a leader.
And when you're serving, you need filling.
A mentor is a wise, trusted advisor. Often, they've "been there, done that" and are able to share their experience with the hindsight of being just a little bit further down the road than where we are today.
Unfortunately, many of us are lacking these kinds of people in our life. If you're a female leader in the marketplace or in ministry, you likely know this better than anyone.
On this week's podcast episode, I talked with the CEO of Lionstone Investments, Jane Page, about her powerful encounter with the question of mentorship that led her to become the mentor she lacked.
If you, too, are lacking a bucket-filler, it might be time to find one.
Here are 3 qualities to look for in a great mentor.
Wisdom. Good judgment and sound decision making are important qualities in anyone, but especially in a mentor. Knowing that you are going to be steered in the right direction with careful thought and deliberation makes this kind of person invaluable. Your bucket is filled as you feel greater confidence and more clarity while watching, learning, and rubbing shoulders with them.
Experience. While it may be important to have work experience that aligns with your own, life experience may be all that's necessary to fill the mentorship gap in your life. The maturity that comes from both personal and professional experience encourages us to stay the course. Our bucket is filled as we see the growth that comes from hardship and the rewards that come from perseverance.
Character. Integrity is often defined as who we are when no one is looking. This kind of person is authentic, genuine, and transparent with who they are, both their strengths and weaknesses. There is no pretense or ego. Learning from and seeing the outcome of strong character renews our faith in being who we are. We live more freely in a way that aligns with our values, which fills our bucket to overflow.
As you contemplate what you need most in the new year ahead, consider who's filling your bucket. Do you have more bucket "dippers" or bucket fillers?
Go ahead and splurge. Give yourself the gift of mentorship this year.
- Leading Where You're Called Side by Side Podcast episode with guest Jane Page
- How Full is Your Bucket, Tom Rath & Donald O. Clifton