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Book Review: It's Not Just Who You Know


February 5, 2015 | by Jack Hubbard, Chief Experience Officer, St. Meyer and Hubbard



None of us achieve great success alone. We need the help of other people.



If your organization is looking for someone to inspire, motivate and energize, hire Tommy Spaulding. Tommy was one of our featured presenters at the 2014 Sales Execution Forum we sponsored in Chicago. He rocked the house and left no one with dry eyes. After the session, Tommy personally signed 110 copies of his game changing bestseller It’s Not Just Who You Know. It’s just one insight into the person, Tommy Spaulding. To better understand the concepts this book espouses you need to take a deeper look into his life.


Tommy knew very early that he was not destined to earn academic awards. He talks about earning a 4.0, but only if he added his high school and college GPAs together. Like many famous people in history, Tommy is dyslexic. This did not limit him, then or now however—in fact, it helped him to shine a light on the talents he does possess. Tommy is a natural leader and he found early on that he has a unique ability to connect with others, whatever their age or background.  His father gave him a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People as a teenager, and it quickly became his bible.  He became a national finalist for the DECA Entrepreneurial Business competition in high school, and ran successfully for senior class president.  He went on to become the youngest CEO in the history of Up With People, one of the largest nonprofit international leadership organizations in the world.


At every step, Tommy learned that the secret to getting ahead was reaching out for the support and insight and influence of others. None of us achieve great success alone. We need the help of other people.


In this candid, revealing book, Tommy expands upon the principles that Dale Carnegie outlined 75 years ago, and shows us how to take them one step further to accomplish the impossible in our lives and careers. To invite others to be genuine partners in our lives and success, Tommy explains, 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. Motives matter. Establishing a deeper connection is about authenticity, not manipulation.  Reciprocity eats selfishness for breakfast. Every relationship is a two-way street; we never know when a chance encounter can change the direction of our life.


In a practical way, this book talks about “Penthouse” or fifth floor relationships. Tommy also discusses floors one through four in relationships and how to move effectively from one to another in a value and trust based way. To Tommy, it’s all about Return on Relationships as much as Return on Investment. The book has lots of great stories that will tug at your heart and make you think about what you are doing to add value, build trust to reach that coveted fifth floor in the marketplace you serve.



Jack Hubbard, Chief Experience Officer, St. Meyer and Hubbard

Widely known as the "Professor of Prospecting," Jack Hubbard has shared his passion for what it takes to build trust-based sales initiatives for more than three decades. He has helped build more than 100 Performance Management Cultures from Maine to Florida, Texas to California and all points in between. With more than 67,000 bankers personally trained and coached, Hubbard is one of America's most sought after facilitators. An author, lecturer and classroom instructor, Hubbard's expertise and out-of-the-box thinking put him in great demand when the subject matter is sales and sales management in business and commercial banking.