Relationships Matter is one of six core values espoused by LinkedIn to define its company culture. When I first joined LinkedIn 2 years, I read over these core values but didn’t fully comprehend them until living them and seeing my colleagues live them. This core value happens to be my favorite. Here is why.

I’ve spent the last year and a half working on LinkedIn’s Relationships team, a team dedicated to focusing on an often over-looked and misunderstood but incredibly valuable ingredient for career success: building meaningful professional relationships. The questions we asked and the ideas we contemplated have made me think much more deeply about the importance of strong ties with the people I work with. Its consumed my thinking in the recent past, mainly to deliver good product for our members. A side effect is that its left a stronger imprint on my views on this core value. Its given me a deeper understanding of its importance in my life and career. The good ones I cherish, and the ones I failed reinforce my belief in getting them right.

Why do Relationships matter?

They matter because we derive happiness through the bonds we have with others. They matter because you can’t achieve excellence alone. They matter because doing what you love to do without team members that you share mutual trust with is a steep path to success. They matter because we are all more likely to get our next job because someone we’ve worked with had a great experience with us in the past.

We are shaped by the people around us, at home and at work, whether we like it or not. Surrounding ourselves with great people makes us greater people. And the relationships we forge with those great people can create magical bonds that make life much more fulfilling and joyful. They can create more than one “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity. They can bring unicorns to life. There is no such thing as a great team without great relationships. Period.

I look back at my career and remember those critical people in my life that influenced me, that provided me just a little more of their time and patience to get me where I’ve gotten. That gave a good word in before applying for a job. That recommended one path versus the other. That helped me up when I fell. Relationships helped me get my first job after college, and helped me get my current job at LinkedIn. I have conviction today that relationships matter as much as your skills do. You should have that same conviction, and you should actively work at building good relationships because it doesn’t come for free.

In the last 2 years I’ve met and worked with amazing people that have genuinely influenced the way I work, think, and feel. At every level of this company from the new college graduate to the CEO, from engineering, product, design and marketing, I’ve gleaned nuggets of experience and advice that I can only describe as transformative. In these years I have made relationships with people that I know will continue throughout my career. Relationships that I hope to keep, that I intend to keep, because relationships matter.

But alas time ticks, the world turns and my new adventure awaits. This will be my final week at LinkedIn. I’ve decided to move on to my next play (as we say it at LinkedIn). Goodbyes are hard, so to my colleagues I choose to say till next time. As I am certain this won’t be the end because it turns out that relationships really do matter.