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Today’s leading fortune 500 companies are led by their relationships and partnerships. As such, most partnerships begin with relationships. A very close friend of mine works for McGraw-Hill companies in Dallas. She has worked for the company for many years, one day during a conversation, I asked her to tell me more about her company and how they were able to sustain during such an economical time for large companies. She began to tell me about the relationships and partnerships that McGraw Hill has gained, loss and sustained for many years. Those partnerships have allowed the company to continue serving the needs of millions of educators and educational institutions both nationally and internationally.

McGraw-Hill companies were founded by James H. McGraw, a teacher in upstate New York, who began working in publishing in 1884 and purchased the American Journal of Railway Appliances in 1888. At the same time, co-founder John A. Hill was working as an editor at Locomotive Engineer.

Over the next fifteen years, the two men pursued their separate careers specializing in technical and trade publications. In 1899, McGraw incorporated his publications under the heading of “The McGraw Publishing Company;” in 1902, John Hill followed with “The Hill Publishing Company.” Mutual interest led them to bring together their publishing enterprises to form McGraw-Hill in 1909.

Today, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a global information and education company providing knowledge, insights, and analysis in the financial, education and business information sectors through leading brands including Standard & Poor’s, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts, and J.D. Power and Associates.

With more than 280 offices in 40 countries, the Company is poised to support a new era of global growth by using the latest technologies to help drive 21st-century workforce development and to deliver valuable benchmarks and information that help financial and business professionals around the world make better decisions.

Yes, relationships matter in business, and for McGraw and Hill, the partnership(s) they developed and continue to develop today has allowed the company to grow into a successful company 104- years later. McGraw-Hill recently announced selling the education part of the organization to Apollo Global, they have established another partnership and now focuses itself as a powerhouse in credit ratings, benchmarks, and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets.

As we move into a challenging era for businesses, it is imperative that we understand the importance of developing strong relationships and recruiting partners (if I should say, cautiously). Global leadership begins with foresight (vision), and successful entrepreneurs like McGraw and Hill had a vision and established a partnership with other companies, that have sustained for over ten decades. Longevity is what businesses should seek when establishing partnerships.

The vision of two exemplary leaders continue to build relationships today, and their empire continues to grow.

The final words from the conversation with my friend were, “I work for a great company, with great leadership, who cares about their employees, and because of this; I feel secure in knowing that I work for a company that has been around for 100 plus years, and I hope to retire from McGraw-Hill.” Those words are rare today, especially due to the many changes companies are experiencing, due to layoffs and leadership changes. I was inspired, and our conversation pushed me to think more about the importance of leadership, relationships and partnerships in the company I currently work for.

Both partnerships and relationships were established centuries ago through Jesus Christ and the Disciples. For example, calling his disciples on a mountain was an illustration to evoke Moses’ experiences on Mt. Sinai. At Sinai there were twelve tribes of the Hebrews, and here there are twelve disciples. At Sinai Moses received the laws directly from God; here, the disciples receive power and authority from Jesus, the Son of God. Both stories are instances of the creation of bonds of community, one legalistic and the other charismatic; and more importantly, building partnerships.

Upon gathering them together, Jesus authorizes His apostles to do three things: preach, heal sickness, and cast out devils. These are three things which Jesus was doing himself and he believed in His relationship with the Disciples and entrusted they would continue doing the work of the Father. Jesus’ relationships with the Disciples became partnerships in order for them to continue His earthly ministry, and fulfill the Great Commission.

Be blessed in the Lord!

Ketra L. Davenport-King


Eastern Standard Version. The Holy Bible. (2008). Illinois: Crossway. (Matthew & Mark)

Johnson, M. Z. (2009). Leadership: A Communication Perspective. Long Grove:  Waveland Press, Inc.

The McGraw-Hill Companies. (2013). (McGraw-Hill) Retrieved April 6, 2013, from http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/site/about-us/corporate-history