Tommy Spaulding’s powerful combination of business savvy, compelling stories, and practical insights has produced a groundbreaking book—It’s Not Just Who You Know—that for the first time in decades truly advances new and innovate ideas about the value of building powerful relationships.

Tommy doesn’t just point out the obvious—that relationships are important in business and in life. He goes even further by drawing from a deep well of heartwarming illustrations that literally show us why relationships matter, how they work, and, most important, how they can change the hearts and minds of people and organizations.

As a teenager with a learning disability growing up in Suffern, N.Y., Tommy’s father gave him the classic book How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Tommy soon realized relationships were his lifeline—the one thing at which he excelled and the one thing that would help him compete against the more academically gifted kids. Now he’s written a book that builds on the framework of Carnegie’s perennial bestseller.

With hard work and a focus on people, Tommy became a leader in his high school and in his community. And even though there were those who told him he’d never make it in college, he earned an undergraduate degree at East Carolina University, two master’s degrees, and an honorary doctorate.

Tommy backpacked around Europe, South America, and Asia. He taught English in Japan and received his MBA in Australia. He worked on a presidential campaign. And after a brief sales career at IBM Lotus, Tommy eventually became the youngest president and CEO of Up with People, the international global leadership organization whose casts of young people have performed around the world for decades. He’s the founder of several national nonprofits, and now is a speaker, consultant, and president of the Spaulding Companies.

In It’s Not Just Who You Know, Tommy shares how relationships shaped the course of his career, not just by helping him advance along the way but also by helping him understand the value of building relationships of true significance. By studying the relationships in his own life and the power of the relationships he saw all around him, Tommy refined his understanding of why relationships really matter and how to make the most of them. As a result, the book is filled with new concepts and groundbreaking ideas. It’s Not Just Who You Know provides insights into things like …

  • The economic value of ROR—Return on Relationships
  • Understanding the “Five Floors” of relationships
  • How to build lasting, loyal relationships with customers and clients
  • How to improve employee morale and reduce turnover
  • How to empower yourself, your employees, and your co-worker to think and act with a purpose larger than self
  • How to move NSW (News, Sports, Weather) relationships toward a Fifth Floor, or Penthouse, level
  • How to move beyond networking to the more powerful concept of “netgiving”

Tommy uses his inspirational stories to illustrate how to advance relationships, but this book isn’t just about helping you win friends and influence people for your own sake. It’s about helping you win friends and influence them toward something that matters: A life of significance. An organization
with purpose. A better world.

Ken Blanchard, author of the international bestseller, The One Minute Manager, shares the deeper power behind Tommy’s message. “Practicing these principles not only improves the financial health of individuals, organizations, and communities—it brings joy and fulfillment as well,” Blanchard writes in the book’s foreword. “Life is about more than winning friends and influencing people—it’s about serving others. When you make a difference in other people’s lives, guess what? It makes a difference in your life, too.”

In It’s Not Just Who You Know, Tommy provides practical, insightful tools for building relationships, but not just relationships that help you “network” your way to the top. The relationships that really matter—Fifth Floor relationships, as he calls them—create better organizations. They lead to more profitable businesses. They have a positive impact on communities. As Tommy likes to say, they make the world spin better.