I know thousands of people, and many of them wield tremendous influence. If life and business were all about “who you know,” then I’d be set. But none of those relationships took on extraordinary value unless I approached them with the idea that they mattered for something above and beyond the transaction.
I think of relationships in terms of a five-floor building. The deeper and more meaningful a relationship, the higher the floor it resides on. My closest, deepest relationships are Fifth Floor or Penthouse, relationships.
Let me be clear – relationships seldom fit neatly into a box (or a building). They’re far too dynamic. Some overlap on different floors, and others seem to move up and down floors like an elevator. But the Five Floor plan helps give me a reference point and allows me to think about the boundaries that define my relationships, so that I can continually work to make them stronger and more rewarding. I try to develop strong relationships at every level. And because my relationships with others matter so much to me, and because I come to them intending to help others, many of these relationships develop into something more meaningful than anything I had imagined.
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About the Author
Tommy Spaulding is president of The Spaulding Companies LLC, a national leadership development, consulting, and speaking organization. Before starting his firm, he was the head of the international nonprofit, Up With People. Tommy is the founder of Leader’s Challenge, which has become the largest high school civic and leadership program in Colorado. He is the co-founder of The Center for Third Sector Excellence and the founder of the National Leadership Academy. Tommy also created Dialogue for Tomorrow, an annual international global leadership conference. He received a BA in Political Science from East Carolina University, an MBA from Bond University in Australia, and an MA in Non-Profit Management from Regis University. In 2007, Tommy received an Honorary PhD in Humanities from the Art Institute of Colorado. To read Tommy’s complete biography, click here.
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