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The Joy of Leadership by Angus Ridgway, Tal Ben-Shahar

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Chapter 7Relationships: Forming Authentic and Positive Bonds

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

—Bill George

Kevin Glynn's decision to leave a steady job and start his own business was difficult, but one key factor made it easier: Kevin's best friend, who'd been by his side throughout his four years at Goldman Sachs, agreed to make the jump with him. Today they're business partners.

Gallup's Q12 survey, the 12 questions designed to predict business success, include this one: Do you have a best friend at work? At first glance, the question may seem squishy and irrelevant. Gallup researchers concede it's often the subject of intense debate; several clients have asked to have it removed from their employee surveys.

Gallup considered removing or changing the question, but chose not to, for a simple reason: It's amazingly good at predicting team performance. A yes answer consistently differentiates between highly productive work teams and mediocre ones. Jim Harter, Gallup's chief scientist of workplace management and well‐being, and coauthor Rodd Wagner wrote: “Something about a deep sense of affiliation with the people in an employee's team drives him to do positive things for the business he otherwise would not do.”

Perhaps more surprisingly, this one question, when analyzed company wide, is a powerful predictor of corporate performance in a variety of measures, including profitability, workplace safety, customer loyalty, and even inventory ...

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