How Full Is Your Bucket?
Business Journal

How Full Is Your Bucket?

Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D.

How did you feel after your last interaction with another person?

Did that person -- your spouse, best friend, coworker, or even a stranger -- "fill your bucket" by making you feel more positive? Or did that person "dip from your bucket," leaving you more negative than before?

The #1 New York Times and #1 BusinessWeek bestseller How Full Is Your Bucket? reveals how even the briefest interactions affect your relationships, productivity, health, and longevity.

Organized around a simple metaphor of a dipper and a bucket, and grounded in 50 years of research, this book will show you how to greatly increase the positive moments in your work and your life -- while reducing the negative.

Filled with discoveries, powerful strategies, and engaging stories, How Full Is Your Bucket? is sure to inspire lasting changes and has all the makings of a timeless classic.

About the Authors

Tom Rath leads Gallup's workplace consulting business worldwide and is one of the most influential authors of the last decade. His books have sold more than 4 million copies and have made more than 250 appearances on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list.

Tom's first book, How Full Is Your Bucket?, was a #1 New York Times bestseller. His 2007 book, StrengthsFinder 2.0, was listed as the top-selling business book worldwide by The Economist. Tom's most recent international bestsellers are Strengths Based Leadership and Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements.

In Tom's role at Gallup, he guides the organization's practices and research on employee engagement, selection, strengths-based development, leadership, and wellbeing. He also serves as Vice Chairman of the VHL Cancer Research Fund. Tom earned degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Ashley, and their two children live in Arlington, Virginia.Donald O.Clifton, Ph.D. (1924-2003), was cited as the "Father of Strengths-Based Psychology" in an American Psychological Association Presidential Commendation in 2002. He was a chairman of Gallup, Inc., and he invented the Clifton StrengthsFinder, an assessment that has helped more than 1 million people around the world discover their talents. He coauthored several books, including the bestseller Now, Discover Your Strengths.

Online Resources

Additional Insights

From the Book

Clifton StrengthsFinder Center

Visit the Clifton StrengthsFinder Center to learn more about how to maximize your strengths through insights, action items, and answers to frequently asked questions.


"(Tom Rath and Don Clifton) drew on Gallup research and millions of interviews to argue that this positive give-and-take leads to solid marriages, higher worker satisfaction and productivity, and a happier world."

-- O, The Oprah Magazine

"For all the veneer of easygoing pleasantry, this is serious business."

-- USA Today

"This slender volume offers an abundance of insights and inspiration. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to dramatically improve their work life and strengthen their relationships."

-- Deepak Chopra
Author of the best-selling books The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success and The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire

"50 years of research . . . reveal how positive reinforcement can powerfully boost productivity, satisfaction, and stability in all kinds of organizations. Though brief, it's highly specific."

-- Entrepreneur magazine

"An insightful 'can't put it down' . . . literary gem. . . Indeed, a winner!"

-- Willard Scott
NBC's Today show

"In this brief but significant book, the authors, a grandfather-grandson team, explore how using positive psychology in everyday interactions can dramatically change our lives."

-- Publishers Weekly

"Kindness really is contagious."

-- Ladies' Home Journal

"A bucketful of miracles . . . Clifton and Rath offer a prescription for reversing the trend toward negativity currently endemic to the American workplace . . . The lessons contained in How Full Is Your Bucket? provide tangible, actionable steps to help turn your workplace into a bustling bastion of positivity and productivity."

-- Selling Power magazine

"A well-researched, strong, and compelling case for improving self-esteem, better relationships, and health . . . this book is a short, sharp, 'how-to' guide."

-- People Management magazine

"Clifton and Rath paint a compelling picture of the good things that happen when people are encouraged, recognized, and praised regularly, as well as the emotional, mental, and sometimes even physical devastation that can occur in the absence of such positive encounters . . . Leaders who want to eliminate or avoid this kind of destruction should make How Full Is Your Bucket? required reading for themselves and their people."

-- John C. Maxwell's Leadership Wired

"Useful anecdotes that managers in particular should pay attention to."

-- The San Francisco Chronicle

"A slim, simple, upbeat volume that manages to be inspirational without preaching (or inducing nausea)."

-- The Miami Herald

"The Grandfather of Positive Psychology, Don Clifton, and his grandson, Tom Rath, offer illuminating wisdom for fulfilling work and for a meaningful life."

-- Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D.
Former President of the American Psychological Association and author of the best-selling books Authentic Happiness and Learned Optimism

"Wow! This little book is a treasure. It is chock full of wisdom, inspiration, and practical advice, rooted in solid research. It will change the way you look at your life, your work, and the world."

-- Martin Walsh
Executive Director, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Foundation

"Tom Rath and Don Clifton have nailed it. Their positive strategies are immensely powerful."

-- Michael W. Morrison, Ph.D.
Dean, University of Toyota

"The world would be a better place if EVERYONE read it."

-- James C. Wright
Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

"Powerful, captivating, and easy to read. This book's heartwarming message has a spiritual quality, yet it is grounded in decades of research."

-- Lea E. Williams, Ed.D.
Executive Director, National African-American Women's Leadership Institute, Inc.

"I loved reading this book and highly recommend it. I'm buying copies for those I love and care about the most."

-- Paul Higham
Former Chief Marketing Officer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

"A powerful experience for every reader and an invaluable tool for energizing every enterprise."

-- William Robertson
Chairman, Weston Solutions, Inc.

"If there were a Nobel Prize for building a quality individual, this book deserves it."

-- Mike Johanns
Governor, State of Nebraska

"Should be required reading for every company, every school's curriculum, and every couple's premarital counseling."

-- Gary F. Russell, Ed.D.
CEO, Major League Soccer Camps

"Filled with powerful illustrations and practical applications, How Full Is Your Bucket? is a must for everyone's personal and business library."

-- Peter J. Watson
Corporate Learning Coach, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

"This book reaffirms the value of caring and compassionate relationships. Tom Rath and Don Clifton have created simple, but powerful, strategies for transforming the business of work and finding the beauty in life."

-- N. Joyce Payne
Founder, Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund

"The book is a quick and memorable read. It should be part of the core curriculum for any corporation trying to build a positive culture."

-- Val J. Halamandaris
President, National Association for Home Care

"This small volume demonstrates how the practice of 'filling other people's buckets' can be life changing."

-- Ed Diener, Ph.D.
Alumni Professor of Psychology, University of Illinois, past Editor of The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Editor of the Journal of Happiness Studies

"A very powerful lesson in understanding human potential and motivation. If every employee within an organization could read this book and apply its simple message, the enterprise would be transformed overnight."

-- Curt W. Coffman
Coauthor of New York Times bestseller First, Break All the Rules and Follow This Path

"Profound truths take few words to express and yet have lasting impacts. This book encourages, educates, and inspires."

-- Edward "Chip" Anderson, Ph.D.
Professor of Education and Leadership, Azusa Pacific University and coauthor of StrengthsQuest: Discover and Develop Your Strengths in Academics, Career, and Beyond

"The 'dipper and bucket' story has improved my own outlook and been very helpful in my business life."

-- Ben Nelson
United States Senator

"This book summarizes fifty years of scientific breakthroughs in less than an hour."

-- Herman Cain
Former Chairman and CEO, Godfather's Pizza, Inc.
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