Equipping followers of Christ to engage in their everyday work as the work of God, so workplaces are invigorated, communities flourish and culture is renewed to the honor and glory of the Lord.

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Friday, November 20, 2015

The People We Can't Afford To Live Without

Two are better than one. Especially at work.

We seem to be living at a time when friends are more necessary than ever. What may come as a surprise to many, is that a person who has a best friend at work is seven times more likely to be engaged in his or her job. This may seem counter intuitive, but it is the discovery of Tom Rath.

Who is Tom Rath? He's the best-selling author of How Full Is Your Bucket?, StrengthsFinder 2.0, and Vital Friends: The People you Can't Afford to Live Without.

Rath puts meat on the term friend. He does this by identifying eight different types of friends. As I summarize his eight types below, I urge you to think about the people in your own life who fill these various roles. And consider how you might be filling one or more of these roles in other people's lives: 

Builder: a person who motivates you to accomplish things you would not otherwise accomplish.

Champion: a person who sings your praises to others.

Collaborator: a person who has similar interests, and shares those interests with you.

Companion: a person who is always there for you.

Connector: a person who introduces you to others (without being asked!).

Energizer: a person who gives you a boost.

Mind Opener: a person who challenges you to think outside the box.

Navigator: a person who provides guidance for you.

As I read Vital Friends, I couldn't help but think of the people in my life who have filled the roles described by Rath. It was easy for me to see why he calls these the people we can't afford to live without.

As King Solomon put it, in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12,

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor;
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.