Three Bucket Analogies for Business Productivity

I find it interesting that a bucket is used by some management experts to explain their concepts of motivation, time management, or leadership.  Below are links to good articles or posts on two of the productivity concepts. For motivation, I found multiple ideas on the internet and in books that had some elements in common.  So I just summarized the common concepts in what seemed a logical way to me. 

Motivation analogy of filling the bucket:
  • Individual’s Drive: Employee feedback needs to be specific, timely, and aligned with their personal value system.
  • Team’s Performance: The team needs to know how well it is doing as a team.
  • Manager’s actions: To keep buckets filled, managers need to provide the team and members with feedback on how they are doing and let team know the work they do is cared about.
  • The Work: The team needs to know what are the main things are that they need to be do, why it is important, and what is key to accomplishing a good job.

Plug the holes before filling the bucket.” - Frank Sonnenberg

Time Management analogy of filling a bucket (your day) with rocks (high priority), pebbles (medium), and sand (low priority).  Others add a water element, which is crisis management or fire-fighting that quickly fills up the bucket and can push out the other priorities if you are not careful. 

Leadership bucket analogy based on Transactional to Transformational using military example of idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration

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