Skye Book Review: It’s Not Just Who You Know by Tommy Spaulding

SkyeTeam Leadership Development Best Business Books

None of us achieve great success alone

In a surprising turn, Tommy Spaulding crafts a wonderful book out of a memoir combined with pragmatic tactics to create strong, lasting relationships. “To invite others to be genuine partners in our lives and success you have to first be interested in other people. It’s not just who you know, or what they can do for you, but what you can do for them,” he writes.

As a young child, Spaulding was given a copy of Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Win Friends & Influence People” and this became his bible. He practiced many of the techniques in this book and it was through this book that the foundation for “Its Not Just Who You Know” was born. Spaulding does an effective job convincing the reader that it’s not just who you know – it’s more than that. It’s “the more than that allows you to find satisfaction in your life.” This book takes us deeper into the value of creating genuine relationships and how to develop each and every one.

Spaulding believes that, “in our fiercely competitive world, those who separate themselves from the pack define the interests of others and work tirelessly to help them advance.” To present these ideas on relationships, Spaulding uses a metaphor of a five-story building where the deeper and more meaningful relationships reside at the fifth, or penthouse floor. Using humorous anecdotes and examples, Spaulding informs us on how to move lower level relationships upstairs to the higher-level floors. He defines specific actions to take that include homework for the reader and tasks such as asking simple questions to create a deeper relationship. He provides plenty of his own concrete, real world examples.

This book resonated with me, relationships are at the heart of  my business and philosophy, focusing on how I, and my team, can help others succeed. As some may know, I am in the midst of writing my own book on Cultivating Winning Relationships. I truly believe in Spaulding’s message that we need to go deeper with our connections. It’s not just about how many business cards you have or how many connections on LinkedIn you’ve collected. It’s not just about who you know. It’s about the more than factor that Spaulding talks about. It’s the difference between a thank you email and a thank you dinner. It’s the extra questions that you ask someone and the extra effort you put in after meeting them to let them know that you care on a level that most of us don’t take the time create.

As the book contends and I happen to agree, none of us achieve great success alone. Relationships matter.