It’s easy to write a business book on what it takes to succeed.  It’s hard to back that up with real data. Jim Collins’ business books are famous for this – each are based on years of meticulous research, scouring data on hundreds of successful companies for the small number of things that nearly all of them have in common.  Harvard’s Grant and Glueck Studies take this to an entirely different level, following two groups of people for more than 80 years to determine what led to the longest, happiest and most successful lives.

According to the director of the center behind the study, the single most important factor to a great life is great relationships.  The quality of relationships, rather than the overall amount, is what’s significant.  There is no amount of Facebook friends that can compensate for a lack of valuable personal relationships.

Of course, when evaluating principals, executives and salespeople, personal networks are often taken into consideration when determining the value they can bring to the company.  But how about the operations and service teams? HR and finance?

The reality is that everyone, regardless of their job title, benefits from valuing and pursuing strong relationships.  They treat their co-workers better, and they’re more likely to go out of their way to help them (and your company) be successful.  They’re more likely to contribute to a positive culture at the company, and less likely to have a “clock-in, clock-out” mentality.  And when they serve your clients, they’re more likely to personally care about how those clients feel both about them and your company.

It’s not just the Grant and Glueck studies that have come to this conclusion, either.  A recent study at Carnegie Mellon University found that people in supportive relationships with spouses are more likely to take on challenges and are more successful as a result of those challenges. And a recent study also found that women who attended a conference that offered relationship-building opportunities were over two times as likely to have received a pay raise than those who had signed up but not yet attended.

Of course, this isn’t to say that relationships are more important than possessing the skills to complete the job.  But if you hire enough people who really value relationships with those around them, your company will be more than a group of individuals who excel at what they do.  It will be a group of people who value the people around them, and work together to help the company succeed.

To learn how WingSwept can help your company make better use of technology, call us at 919-779-0954 or email us at