Vital Friends: The People You Can't Afford to Live Without
Business Journal

Vital Friends: The People You Can't Afford to Live Without

Tom Rath

What's the quickest way to ruin a friendship? Do great friendships have anything in common? Are close friendships in the workplace such a bad thing?

These are just a few of the questions that #1 New York Times bestselling author Tom Rath asked when he embarked on a massive study about the impact of friendships. Along with several leading researchers, Rath pored through the literature, conducted several experiments, and analyzed more than 8 million interviews from The Gallup Organization's worldwide database.

His team's discoveries produced Vital Friends, a book that challenges long-held assumptions people have about their relationships. And the team's landmark discovery -- that people who have a "best friend at work" are seven times as likely to be engaged in their job -- is sure to rattle the structure of organizations around the world.

Drawing on research and case studies from topics as diverse as management, marriage, and architecture, Vital Friends reveals what's common to all truly essential friendships: a regular focus on what each person is contributing to the friendship -- rather than the all-too-common approach of expecting one person to be everything.

The book includes a unique ID code that provides access to the Vital Friends Assessment and Web site. This groundbreaking test reveals which friends play each of the eight vital friendship roles in your work and life.

Tom Rath's fast-paced and inviting storytelling takes a mountain of important research and makes it remarkably accessible and applicable. By the time you finish reading Vital Friends, you'll see your coworkers, family, friends, and significant other in a whole new light.

About the Author

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.

Reviews

"Vital Friends . . . reaches startling conclusions."

The Independent

"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."

USA Today

"Firms that discourage mixing have it wrong. . . . The Gallup Organization has studied workplace friendships and says that those who have friends at work, with whom they socialize both in and out of the office, are more engaged than those who don't."

The Washington Post

"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."

TIME magazine

"Citing illuminating cases and surveys . . . Rath shows that many people succeed or fail based on the support and involvement of their best friends. . . . Rath's bullishness on friendship is based on solid research and couched in intelligent prose."

Publishers Weekly
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