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YHRadio: Fireseeds CEO Cord Sachs, “The one question great leaders ask themselves on a regular basis. How full is your bucket?”

Photo by https://perzonseo.com/

Cord Sachs is a Birmingham-based leadership expert and the CEO of FireSeeds, a company that helps companies find and grow great leaders and “the company behind many of Alabama’s fastest growing companies.”

The full conversation with Mr. Sachs can be heard on the Yellowhammer Radio podcast or in the video above, and a lightly edited transcript of his interview with Yellowhammer’s Andrea Tice and Scott Chambers can be read below.

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. Learn more about Cord Sachs and Fireseeds at www.fireseeds.com


Scott Chambers: (Singing). Welcome back, Yellowhammer nation. Super-station 101WYDE. It is Tuesday, time for our weekly chat with our good friend Cord Sachs from FireSeeds. How you doing, Cord?

Cord Sachs: Good. Good to be here.

Scott Chambers: Glad to have you, man.

Andrea Tice: It’s always good to have you in the studio.

Cord Sachs: Absolutely.

Scott Chambers: Yes.

Andrea Tice: A different dynamic and we always enjoy it.

Cord Sachs: Out for the 4th of July but back this week ready to roll.

Andrea Tice: Okay, good.

Scott Chambers: Well, yeah.

Cord Sachs: Yeah, ready to roll.

Andrea Tice: Who’s the person you brought in with you? Just because [crosstalk 00:01:22]-

Cord Sachs: I brought my son today, yeah, we just picked him up in downtown at the great folks at UAB doing rehab, so he joined me today.

Andrea Tice: Well, we’re glad-

Scott Chambers: Glad to have you in studio.

Andrea Tice: Yeah.

Scott Chambers: The mic’s out if you want to talk, you can.

Jeremiah Sachs: Thank you.

Scott Chambers: Oh, good having … He said, “Thank you,” that’s good enough right there.

Andrea Tice: Yes.

Scott Chambers: So, Cord, we’re continuing on and we’ve been talking about leadership topics and today I understand that the topic is How Full Is Your Bucket?

Cord Sachs: That’s right.

Scott Chambers: You say this is one of the questions that great leaders ask themselves on a regular basis, how full is your bucket? Tell us about the bucket. I want to know about the bucket then I can actually imagine that you’re going to help us know how we can fill that bucket.

Cord Sachs: Yeah, that’s right. Great leaders are always asking the question, “How full is my bucket?” Let’s talk about the bucket first. The bucket literally is … Think of a container in your chest that really does, it contains, it holds the things of substance, the things that mean things to you, your energy, your passion, your purpose, your zeal. When we ask ourselves, “How full is the bucket,” we’re asking ourselves, “How much energy do I have right now, how much passion, how much zeal for life?” I need to check that gage, I need to ask that question regularly because the answer to that question is how much I then have to give to others? That’s the bucket.

Scott Chambers: Nice.

Cord Sachs: We’re going to go from there.

Scott Chambers: All right, makes perfect sense.

Andrea Tice: All right, so then I guess the next question is how do we fill the bucket so that it’s filled properly?

Cord Sachs: Yeah, and I think to give context to that, let’s talk about how most of us jump to filling the bucket probably without thinking very intentionally about it. We feel there’s an emptiness, gosh it’s not that I don’t have the passion, the zeal, the energy right now in life, I’ve got to fill it with something.

Scott Chambers: Right.

Cord Sachs: Most of the times we try to fill it with temporary substance that just doesn’t last. It doesn’t fill the bucket, it doesn’t give us that energy or that passion that we thought it might. [Crosstalk 00:03:14]-

Scott Chambers: Right, my life would be better if I had that new Bass boat.

Cord Sachs: If I had that new Bass boat, right.

Scott Chambers: I buy that airplane, I’m feeling better.

Cord Sachs: I’ll give you something, a real example, food. How many times, “Man, if I just … I got that meal coming up.”

Scott Chambers: Eat that pizza.

Cord Sachs: That good restaurant, and I go and then six hours later it’s gone. I thought maybe that would fill a little of that emptiness in my bucket and it’s gone.

Scott Chambers: Right.

Cord Sachs: Trips, we’re all taking trips this summer and how many of us are driving back on 65, back up Upstate from the beach.

Scott Chambers: The most miserable drive in the world.

Cord Sachs: What do we say? “We need a vacation from our vacation.”

Scott Chambers: That’s right.

Cord Sachs: But for the previous three, four, five weeks we got that on the calendar. That’s going to fill this bucket.

Scott Chambers: Right.

Cord Sachs: And it doesn’t, it’s a temporary fix that then is gone right afterwards.

Scott Chambers: Yeah, absolutely.

Cord Sachs: That’s how we try to fill it and it doesn’t work and so, again, we’re left with an empty bucket.

Andrea Tice: We have a tendency as humans to fill our bucket with superficial, non lasting, temporary things you said. What would be the process of discerning what’s actually going to fill it properly?

Cord Sachs: Yeah, that’s the magic question is, “How do we fill that with things of substance?” Don Clifton has a great book, it’s called How Full Is Your Bucket. You need to read it, it’s simple but it’s a New York Times Best Seller. He talks about the principal of how we get our bucket filled is by filling other people’s buckets. Now, this is profound principle but he didn’t come up with this. Obviously, this is has been around for a long time. This is Christ said this. This is in our Word, which is, “It’s better to give than it is to receive.” That’s not just a catchy slogan that was said.

It really is, it’s better to give because when I give I, then, get a double portion and I’m not only giving to someone else and filling their bucket but my bucket is filled as well. It’s the same thing about with He said, “The first must be last and the last will be first.” That’s His whole principle of servant leadership.

Scott Chambers: Right.

Cord Sachs: When I have the mindset of giving and serving others I’m putting myself last but then I’m being promoted to first because people want to follow people that fill their buckets.

Scott Chambers: I said the Bass boat thing a minute ago and you’ve talked in the past about the mid-life crisis and if we only live for our own success then we’re really destined for a crisis. I’m guessing that the empty bucket is actually similar to how you feel is the reason for the mid-life crisis, right?

Cord Sachs: Yeah, yeah, I mean that’s just, unfortunately, many of us, because we’re not asking that question, “How full is my bucket,” on a regular basis, it’s that mid-life time where we introspectively look back and realize, “I thought I should be full by this time but I’m 40, 45, whatever it is for you,” and you look back and you realize, “I’m not.”

Scott Chambers: “Oh, my gosh. I need the convertible Beemer. Ah!”

Cord Sachs: There’s where the crisis comes in, but we have our buckets emptied all the time. If we’re not asking the question and gaging our buckets, and then connecting the dots too. Okay, wow, I need to fill my bucket by giving to others, by serving, by giving away. We had Alton Hardy in two weeks ago.

Scott Chambers: Oh, yes.

Cord Sachs: Was he not a bucket-filler?

Scott Chambers: Pastor Alton Hardy was a true bucket-filler, man. What they’re doing at Urban Hope is amazing.

Cord Sachs: Absolutely.

Scott Chambers: Just amazing, and so go ahead [crosstalk 00:06:30]-

Andrea Tice: I was going to say, now, I could hear … I could almost imagine someone thinking as they listen you like, “But my bucket’s empty because I’ve been serving. I’m depleted.”

Cord Sachs: That’s right, well, I think that we definitely can be overworked and in a sense because we are serving, I think, there’s an essence to that to where there is some truth there. A lot of our ministers, a lot of our pastors, they do serve and serve and serve and serve and there are times to be refueled. I think there’s times to go and literally have respites and have vacation and have times where we rest and we get our energy back.

Scott Chambers: Right.

Cord Sachs: But, I bet if you asked Alton how full his bucket is in his life right now because of what he gets to do. Yes, he’s tired, but the purpose, the passion, the zeal is … You heard it, we all heard it and is alive and well. I think that’s what these people that we see, they’ve got so much joy in their life, so much passion and we look and we see that they don’t have a lot of money, they don’t have a lot of substance.

Scott Chambers: Right.

Cord Sachs: But, oh, they’re giving their lives away. That’s the secret sauce. That’s the magic to the whole bucket scenario is when you give, you get it filled and so you want to keep giving and giving and giving. Really, that’s what it’s all about.

Scott Chambers: It doesn’t even have to be a lot of time if it’s time that you’re giving, or maybe it could be a small financial obligation to someone. It doesn’t have to be a lot, it’s just a little here and there, right, can actually help you fill that bucket?

Cord Sachs: Yeah, absolutely. There’s the times when Jeremiah and I and our whole family, we went to Africa last year.

Scott Chambers: Nice.

Cord Sachs: It literally was the most unbelievable life-changing, bucket-filling experience. Then we also got to just help out and go serve at Alton’s church one day. We went to some of the local schools over in Fairfield and just were there. Played with the kids, we handed out a few Thanksgiving meals and, man, we walked away and our buckets were full. We had energy, we had passion, we had zeal, we had purpose and we came back and we had so much more to give for the rest of the week in our regular day lives.

Scott Chambers: I see Jeremiah shaking his head, “Yes,” in full agreement with that, so you’ve actually got to do some of the work that your dad was just saying about, with Urban Help. What a great group of people, and you felt full I guess after helping because you were serving and helping people in need, right?

Jeremiah Sachs: Yeah, definitely.

Scott Chambers: That’s cool. How old are you Jeremiah?

Jeremiah Sachs: I’m 16.

Scott Chambers: 16 years old, I love the fact that we’re talking to a 16-year old, Andrea, who has that passion to want to help others.

Andrea Tice: Sure.

Scott Chambers: That’s certainly going to fill your bucket for the rest of your life.

Jeremiah Sachs: [Crosstalk 00:09:00].

Cord Sachs: I think that’s one of the greatest things that … Even as a father and I got six kids and I’m saying, “How do I keep my family’s bucket full?” There’s this essence, “I’ve got to go buy him a lot of stuff,” or “I’ve got to get him in the best camps,” or, “I’ve got to maximize my summer by taking the best vacations.” Sometimes the greatest things we do, we walk away from, are the times we simply go and find that service day at church where we’re just going out in the neighborhoods and helping folks fix up their homes or there’s just so many opportunities out there and I always talked about continuing the story around Urban Hope and just following that.

What a way, right in our back yard for people here in Birmingham to get involved, to help with what they’re doing over in Fairfield. Like you said, “We need mentors,” you can go over and serve in so many different ways right now. Obviously, you can give to Urban Hope and the community center they’re building-

Scott Chambers: Right.

Cord Sachs: The entrepreneurial center they’re building, so just a lot of different ways right here in our backyard. You don’t have to go to Africa to give.

Andrea Tice: Right.

Cord Sachs: We can be a part of something phenomenally impacting right here in our back yard.

Scott Chambers: I think the website’s urbanhopecc.com for those would maybe like to do it with Urban Hope. It doesn’t even have to be them, it can be anywhere-

Cord Sachs: Absolutely.

Scott Chambers: You’re listening to help try to fill your bucket. Cord, it’s been a pleasure seeing you, and Jeremiah, pleasure meeting you.

Jeremiah Sachs: Thank you [crosstalk 00:10:12]-

Scott Chambers: Glad you guys were on today. Cord, if people want to find out more about FireSeeds, give them the website, how they can get in touch with you guys.

Cord Sachs: Just go to fireseeds.com. I want to help you with your recruiting, leader development, love to serve you and, hopefully, give to you through what we do with FireSeeds.

Scott Chambers: All right, Cord Sachs, good seeing you, brother.

Cord Sachs: Great to be here.

Scott Chambers: All right, Andrea, that’s going to do it for us. Our thanks to Cord Sachs, Scott Dawson, Chris Reed for all being on this program today.

Andrea Tice: Absolutely.

Scott Chambers: Oh, and Jeremiah, as well.

Andrea Tice: Yeah, don’t forget Jeremiah.

Scott Chambers: Thanks to him for being on. I am going to take some time to help fill a bucket, actually, by helping my family on their move to Florida so the next three, four days-

Andrea Tice: It’s a much needed filling.

Scott Chambers: I’m out, but I’ll be back Monday. Andrea, Chris Reed with you tomorrow. God bless you all, bye.

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