How Full is Your Bucket?

Posted & filed under Book Reviews, Web.

by Donald O. Clifton and Tom Rath

Recently, I read a book that Clifton and his grandson published for the first time in 2004 under the title How Full is Your Bucket? I read the 5th anniversary edition, which includes new Gallup research.

Bottom line: “One person, specifically the manager, can eliminate almost all of the active disengagement in a workplace, if he or she primarily focuses on an employee’s strengths.” In the book, Clifton and Rath focus on the theory of the dipper and the bucket. It’s simple. We all have a bucket and a dipper. We have a choice every day; we can fill each other’s buckets or we can dip from them.

Clifton, known as the father of strengths psychology, became intrigued with studying strengths after the Korean War when American prisoners developed a disease of extreme hopelessness in POW camps. Clifton wondered, “If people can be literally destroyed by unrelenting negative reinforcement, can they be uplifted and inspired to a greater degree by similar levels of positive reinforcement.” Strengths Finder answers that question with a resounding “YES!”

Once you read How Full Is Your Bucket, you’re going to want to find and develop your strengths and those of your colleagues. We’re so sure of that, we’ve ordered 100 books. If you’d like one, let Nichole know (

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