Tom Rath

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Tom Rath
Tom Rath Bestselling Author.jpg
Image from the Fully Charged film
BornThomas Rath
Lincoln, Nebraska, US
OccupationAuthor, Researcher, Speaker
EducationM.S. Psychology (University of Pennsylvania) ; B.A. Psychology (University of Michigan)
SubjectBusiness, Health, Wellbeing
Notable worksStrengths Based Leadership, StrengthsFinder 2.0, How Full Is Your Bucket?, Wellbeing

Tom Rath (born 1975) is an American consultant on employee engagement, strengths, and well-being, and author. He is best known for his studies on strength-based leadership and well-being and for synthesizing research findings in a series of bestselling books. [1] [2] His books have sold more than 5 million copies and have been translated into sixteen languages. [3]



Rath holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan, and an M.S. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. [4]

After his studies, Rath started working at Gallup, Inc., where he participates as a senior scientist, consultant, and advisor. He served as vice chairman of the VHL cancer research organization and is a regular guest lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania.


Writing career

Rath’s first book, How Full Is Your Bucket?, coauthored with his grandfather, Donald O. Clifton, during his final year of life, became a New York Times bestseller in 2004. The book aims to teach children the value of "filling your bucket" and that people should also value every moment. [5]

Strengths Based Leadership (2009), co-authored with Barry Conchie, [6] is based on Rath’s and Gallup's research on leadership and on what followers expect from their leaders (trust, compassion, stability, hope).

Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements (2010), a New York Times bestseller, coauthored with Jim Harter, is based on Gallup’s research on wellbeing. The book lists five elements of well-being: career well-being, social well-being, financial well-being, community well-being, and physical well-being. [7] [8]

Rath’s most well-known book, StrengthsFinder 2.0 (2007), a #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller, was listed as the top worldwide business bestseller by The Economist in 2011. [9] It suggests that employees and employers should develop their unique skills rather than spend time improving their weaknesses. [10]

Eat Move Sleep

At the age of 16, Rath was diagnosed with VHL disease, a rare genetic disorder that causes cancer cells to appear in various parts of the body. Since the time of the diagnosis, Rath has been researching and experimenting with various ways of slowing down the growth of tumors in his kidneys, adrenal glands, pancreas, and spine. [11]

In 2012, he took a sabbatical from his full-time position in Gallup to focus on writing a new book, titled Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes which became a New York Times bestseller [12] upon its publication in October 2013. Eat Move Sleep was also recognized as one of the best nonfiction books of 2013 by Apple iTunes. It describes the impact of eating, moving, and sleeping on health and everyday energy and offers practical ideas on how to make better health choices. The book emphasizes the interrelatedness of eating, moving, and sleeping and encourages focusing on all three in any health improvement program.

Publications, a selection

Related Research Articles

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  1. Flynn, Paul. "Leadership: From Above And Below". T+D Magazine. ASTD. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  2. Wolgemuth, Liz (July 23, 2010). "How Your Boss Can Ruin Your Health". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  3. Poinier, Jake (March 2011). "Leverage From Your Core". Speaker. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  4. Brotherton, Phaedra. "Tom Rath". T+D Magazine. ASTD. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  5. Reckmeyer, Mary; Rath, Tom (2020-06-16). How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids. Simon and Schuster. ISBN   978-1-59562-240-2.
  6. Kaifi, Belal (January 2010). "Strengths Based Leadership". Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship. 15: 139–141 via ABI/INFORM.
  7. WSJ (May 14, 2010). "Best-Selling Books". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  8. La Fon, Holly. "Live Well". Success. Success. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  9. The Economist (June 30, 2011). "Worldwide business bestsellers". The Economist. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  10. "SuperSummary". SuperSummary. Retrieved 2022-07-13.
  11. Kashino, Marisa (May 2, 2013). "Finding Strength: Researcher Tom Rath's Next Project May Be His Most Important Yet". Washingtonian. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  12. New York Times (27 October 2013). "Best Sellers". New York Times. Retrieved 28 January 2014.