Wednesday, October 4, 2017

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

"We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open." -- 2 Corinthians 6:11 (NKJV)

Tommy Spaulding comes naturally by his interest in other people. He's outgoing. He likes to meet people. He has many good purposes in mind. In the process of following his heart in drawing closer to others, he has learned that it's not enough to have acquaintances, or close associates, or even friends. The most satisfying relationships comes from being more concerned about doing something good for others more than accomplishing any other purpose.

In this heart-warming memoir, Mr. Spaulding describes the way we relate to one another in terms of five floors and encourages you to move onto the higher floors:

1. First floor: transactional connections (People do things for one another because it's their job.)

2. Second floor: includes casual relationships where you know people somewhat, but you aren't friends.

3. Third floor: peers working toward common goals, but the personal connection is pretty superficial.

4. Fourth floor: connections beyond getting the job or task done (mentors, good friends, close colleagues, and people you care about beyond your family).

5. Fifth floor (penthouse): shared values, openness, candor, vulnerability, and focus on the other person's needs (your closest and most intimate relationships)

While Mr. Spaulding suffered a lot from dyslexia in his youth, that disorder certainly didn't affect his story-telling ability or his heart. For those who have never considered that those they engage with every day can be people who they are open and trusting with, this book will be an eye opener.

Some people might be tempted to characterize this book as being about advanced networking, (and there's certainly an element of how to develop connections with the rich and powerful) but the book's real message is about getting more out of life than just meeting your sales quota this month. I was pleased to see that Mr. Spaulding was candid in explaining that not everyone you trust will be worthy of your trust. His advice is to keep loving and being good to others anyway.

I think he has written a good book for those who want to be civic leaders. If you know someone who aspires to such a role, do the person a favor and share a copy of this book with him or her.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Donald Mitchell. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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