Book Review: Wellbeing
This is Tom Rath’s latest book, co-authored with Jim Harter whose previous book, 12: The Elements of Great Managing, Harter co-authored with Rodd Wagner. Rath explains that in addition to their own research for this book, he and Harter consulted an abundance of research conducted by the Gallup Organization with which they are associated. Moreover, “Gallup assembled an assessment composed of the best questions asked over the last 50 years. To create this assessment, the Wellbeing Finder, we tested hundreds of questions across countries, languages, and vastly different life situations.”
Although 66% of those surveyed are doing well in one of the five areas, only 7% are thriving in all five. “These five factors are the currency of a life that is worthwhile. They describe demands of life that we can all do something about and that are important to people in every life situation we studied.” Here they are, with my own take on each:
Career Wellbeing: Eager to begin work each day, feels appreciated as a person as well as an employee, respects supervisor, enjoys associates, speaks with pride and appreciation about company to others
Social Wellbeing: Has several strong relationships, can activate a support system when encountering problems, feels loved
Financial Wellbeing: Manages finances prudently, aware of costs and in control of expenditures, frugal but not cheap
Physical Wellbeing: Gets sufficient rest as well as rigorous regular exercise, has plenty of energy in reserve, eats sensibly
Note: In Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, John Ratey explains why there is a direct and decisive correlation between a healthy lively body and a healthy lively brain. Those who have a special interest in this important subject are strongly urged to check out Ratey’s book.
Community Wellbeing: Is actively and productively engaged in the neighborhood and in the community as well as in various groups within the area such as a church, P.T.A., Crime Watch, Meals on Wheels, homeowners’ association, etc.
Rath and Harter have much of value to say about each of these five dimensions of human experience such as their core values, sources of nutrition, strategies for development, threats to well-being, and interdependence with each other. Of even greater value, in my opinion, they suggest what lessons can be learned from responses to Gallup’s global surveys during the last 50 years and offer their observations and recommendations in terms of how each reader can improve the quality of life and sense of well-being in each dimension.
They observe, “For many people, spirituality is the threat that connects and drives them in all of these areas. Their faith is the single most important element in their lives, and it is the foundation of their daily efforts across each of the five areas. For others, a deep mission, such as protecting the environment, drives them each day. While the things that motivate us differ greatly from one person to the next, the outcomes do not.”
Readers will especially appreciate Rath and Harter’s provision of a brief summary of the “essentials” at the conclusion of the separate chapter they devote to each of the five elements. They also provide seven appendices in the “Additional Tools and Resources” section and thus enable each reader to complete a number of self-diagnostic exercises within the context they have so carefully formulated throughout the preceding narrative. Appendix A, for example, consists of “The Well-Being Finder: Measuring and Managing Your Well-Being” and Appendix G offers a brief but remarkably comprehensive discussion of “Well-Being Around the World.”
Credit Tom Rath and Jim Harter with a brilliant achievement of enduring importance and exceptional significance. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time someone has analyzed hundreds of Gallup’s global surveys involving millions of respondents and correlated, indeed integrated what they reveal within a framework that embraces five major dimensions of human experience.
I wholeheartedly agree with them that “one of the best ways to create more good days is by setting positive defaults. Any time you can help your short-term self work with your longer-term aims, it presents an opportunity. You can intentionally choose to spend more time with the people you enjoy most and engage your strengths as much as possible.” Once our daily choices are in proper alignment with long-term benefits, our families, our friendships, our workplaces, and our communities will become healthier and thus even more worthwhile. If well-being is the objective, then well-becoming is the opportunity.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - Posted by Bob Morris | Bob's blog entries | 12: The Elements of Great Managing, Career Wellbring, community Wellbeing, Crime Watch, Gallup Organization, homeowners’ association, Jim Harter, John Ratey, Meals on Wheels, P.T.A., Physical Wellbeing, Rodd Wagner, Social Wellbeing, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, The Gallup Press, Tom Rath, well-becoming, Wellbeing Finder, Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements
No comments yet.
Did you see us in the Dallas Morning News Business Section?
Purchase our book synopses from 15minutebusinessbooks.com.
We present two books a month, every month, and make the audio recordings and handouts of our synopses available at our companion site, 15minutebusinessbooks.com
Meet our 2015 Sponsor
Acuity – Redefining Sales Cultures
Tom Niesen and his team, through Acuity Systems and Sandler Training, are ready to help you improve your sales process and increase revenue throughout 2015. Just click here to visit their website – and then, let Acuity help you improve your sales effectiveness in 2015.
Reading the handout, listening to the recording – it was “…like Power-Reading a Business Book”
- First Friday Book Synopsis in DallasAugust 7th, 20158 days to go.
- O'Reilly is correct-he is the reporter who has done this most "in this country" -insulated, no one else exists, FoxUS m.huffpost.com/us/entry/55ba5… 1 hour ago
- RT @HDBoykinJr: 9 Books Elon Musk Thinks Everyone Should Read via @BINGBINGREAD ln.is/www.scoop.it/t… 2 hours ago
- "I've Got Confidence in Me"-or, Maybe Not so Much-(My Takeaways, The Confidence Code by Katty Kay & Claire Shipman): wp.me/pmm68-8UF 2 hours ago
- "Where to Start to Reduce Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse" on @LinkedIn linkedin.com/pulse/where-st… 3 days ago
- I am in Houston for the first Wardens' Retreat for 2015. Attendance is a bit down, but spirit and participation are both quite high. 2 months ago
- Today's Dallas Morning News has a feature article about the First Friday Book Synopsis. Link; dallasnews.com/business/colum… http://t.co/AbfBiILX5T 2 months ago
- Again - it is absurd that Colby Lewis did not get to go 9 innings tonight with an 11-1 Texas lead and fewer than 90 pitches in 8 innings! 2 months ago
- The Rangers' Rodriguez should have gone out for the 9th for a complete game. The lead was 7-1, and his pitch count was not high. Absurd. 2 months ago
- Barry Schwartz on “Our loss of wisdom” bobmorris.biz/barry-schwartz… 11 hours ago
- Big data versus big congestion: Using information to improve transport bobmorris.biz/big-data-versu… 11 hours ago
- Top 10 Inventions that Changed the World bobmorris.biz/top-10-inventi… 11 hours ago
Recent visitor count
- 992,683 visits
Site created and maintained by Dallas website design company bigDwebsitedesign.com
- “There is no Permanent Fix” – A Tough Reality to Face, and Lesson to Learn, from General Stanley McChrystal (from Team of Teams)
- Innovation Superstars: Shock Therapy for the Status Quo – (announcing our new seminar)
- Your Company Needs Some Business-Book Book Clubs – Download Our White Paper
- The Equalizer (Denzel Washington) Reading Through the “Top 100 Books You Should Read Before You Die”
- Managing Yourself is Only Half the Battle – Supervising Yourself is Just as Important
- Where to Start to Reduce Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Against Women