As I mentioned to John Richardson, Tom Rath took me by surprise with his book, Vital Friends. I’m not sure why I had underestimated it, for I’m a huge fan of the Gallup Organization and the research they’ve conducted in our workplaces, research which supports the strengths management revolution, and the mission to increase employee engagement.
I’d first learned about Gallup’s StrengthsFinder Q12 (twelve key dimensions that describe great workgroups) when I’d read their ground-breaking book First, Break All the Rules. I became an instant convert. The core concept of working on an employee’s strengths and innate talents is very much attuned with Managing with Aloha for Aloha is a value of authenticity and self-awareness. It was common sense to me that the goodness, and the very rightness, of our innate talents was perfectly aligned with the aloha spirit which resides in all of us ”“ also innately.
“Key dimension number 10” of the Q12 was that engaged employees would state, “I have a best friend at work.” Of all 12 StrengthsFinder indicators, I’d always thought this was the oddest one, and it was the one easy to overlook as I would study and apply the other eleven, things like “Knowing what’s expected of me,” “Doing what I do best,” and “My company’s mission and purpose.”
In Vital Friends, Tom Rath has finally explained the importance of this measurement for me like no list of impressive statistics could ever have done.