Stumbled across a podcast interview of author Tom Rath whose second book, Vital Friends: The People You Can't Afford to Live Without, is out. The podcast is available courtesy of 800-CEO-Read and is hosted on Odeo.
The Vital Friends book has a companion site which lists the 8 roles that different friends fulfill in our lives -- and emphasizes that expecting one single person to fulfill all 8 roles is a guaranteed recipe for a disastrous relationship.
The roles are (see Vital Friends site for full descriptions):
- Builder. Motivators. They invest in your development and genuinely want you to succeed.
- Companion. Always there for you, whatever the circumstances.
- Connector. Bridge-builders who get to know you -- and then connect you to others.
- Collaborator. Friend with similar interests; you share a passion.
- Energizer. Your fun friends. You have more positive moments when you are with these friends.
- Mind Opener. Friends who expand your horizons with new ideas, opportunities, cultures, and people.
- Navigator. Friends who give you sage advice. You go to them whenever you need guidance, and they talk through the "pros" and "cons" with you until you find an answer.
- Champion. Champions stand up for you, and defend you until the end.
Anyway, I'm glad that I can actually name at least one person in my life for each of the above roles, with the possible exception of the Connector role... which I guess isn't that surprising since I've yet to master the fine art of networking.