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Vital Friends: The People You Can't Afford to Live Without Hardcover – August 1, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Washington Post
Friendships are good for business. Companies are coming to discover that, yet are at a loss at what to do about it. ... what Gallup has uncovered about best friends stands out as novel.”
Let friendship ring. It might look like idle chatter, but when employees find friends at work, they feel connected to their jobs. Having a best friend at work is a strong predictor for being a happy and productive employee.”
More About the Author
Tom's most recent work includes the bestselling book, ARE YOU FULLY CHARGED?, the feature length film FULLY CHARGED, and Tom's second children's book THE RECHARGEABLES: EAT MOVE SLEEP.
Tom has written six New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers over the past decade, starting with the #1 New York Times bestseller How Full Is Your Bucket? His book StrengthsFinder 2.0 was the top-selling book of 2013 and 2014 worldwide on Amazon.com. Tom's other bestsellers are Strengths Based Leadership, Wellbeing, and Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes. In total, his books have sold more than 6 million copies and have made more than 300 appearances on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list.
In addition to his work as a researcher, writer, and speaker, Tom serves as a senior scientist for and advisor to Gallup, where he previously spent thirteen years leading the organization's work on employee engagement, strengths, leadership, and well-being. He is also a scientific advisor to Welbe, a startup focused on wearable technology.
Tom previously served as vice chairman of the VHL cancer research organization. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania, where he is now a regular guest lecturer. Tom, his wife, Ashley, and their two children live in Arlington, Virginia.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book continues on in Gallup's use of theory that asks us all to not expect people to be what they are not, and tries to help people be who they were created to be.
If your friend is an encourager, let them encourage, but they might not be the strongest mentor that you will have in your life. Do not put your friends into roles they are not capable of fulfilling - have lots of friends - Rath makes all these good points and more in his book, "Vital Friends."
An easy read, Vital Friends explores why relationships are important to success in life, career, family and more. This book is worth reading - another good effort from the folks at Gallup, and Tom Rath.
* One is that having friends at work is very beneficial to the employer. With a best friend at work, you are much more likely to be productive. Without a best friend at work, there's only a 1 in 12 chance you'll feel engaged! With three good friends at work you are 96% more likely to be extremely satisfied with your life. (All the numbers are from a Gallup poll.)
* The second point he makes is that you can't expect all your friends to be all things to you. He says different friends fullfill different needs and describes the different types of friends:
+ Motivators and coaches
+ They push you
+ They know our strengths
+ They provide moral support
+ Stand up for you
+ Sing your praises
+ "Thrive on your accomplishments and happiness"
+ Share similar interests, ambitions and passions
+ Do a lot with you
+ Always there for you
+ Make sacrifices for you
+ First person you call
+ Always introduce you to others
+ They seem to "know everybody"
+ Your "fun friends"
+ Make good days, great
+ People you call to have a good time or to relax with
o Mind Openers
+ Ask good questions
+ People you share ideas and express yourself outloud with
+ Give advise
+ Steer you
+ Share dreams and goals
Interestingly, he says that in friendships we don't play the same role to each other. So you might be a mind opener to your friend and your friend might be a champion for you.
This book was an easy and interesting read. You can easily read it in a day. (I read it on a two hour plane ride.) However, I would have liked a lot more detail and depth.
He starts the book by stating that so much of the focus on personal and professional success is on self-improvement. But is that really the key? His answer is, "The energy between two people is what creates great marriages, families, teams, and organizations." In fact, his first chapter is entitled, "Who Expects You to be Somebody?" where he wisely observes that it is almost always the influence of meaningful people in our lives that drives us to achievement.
The second chapter, "The Energy Between," discusses how, "Focusing on the individual is too narrow -- and focusing on the entire group is too broad. The real energy occurs in each connection between two people, which can bring about exponential returns." His next chapter, "Better than Prozac?" cites some interesting research, including a Duke University study showing people with less than four close friends had more than double the risk of heart disease.
The most helpful concept he develops in the book is that of "the rounding error" in chapter 5. It is easy, he says, to expect a friend to be "well rounded"-- in other words, to be good at everything: inspiring us, being a companion to us, giving us an energy boost, expanding our horizions, and a dozen other different things.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like Tom's book as it oscillates between research data and his perspectives. Some of the stats are stunning - e.g. Read morePublished on August 21, 2013 by rpv
I'm not much of a book reader during my busy hiring season. I work for an employment office, so we get inundated with OT and take home work. Read morePublished on June 19, 2013 by VBD413
Vital Friends was a very informative book. I was required to read the book for a college class, and was pleasantly surprised with how much this book caused me to evaluate my own... Read morePublished on May 16, 2013 by Nate
Tom Rath offers an insightful way of understanding friendship in our lives. As is often the case, most of us live with a general understanding of the various things that make up... Read morePublished on December 19, 2012 by Amazon Customer
"Vital Friends" illustrates its own conclusion. Like a good friend, it can add a lot to your life despite imperfections. Read morePublished on April 3, 2012 by ThirstyBrooks
There's a kernel of truth in this book, and that is that people are different and as friends fulfill different functional roles in the relationship. That's about it. Read morePublished on January 4, 2012 by Ghost(Ghost(M))