Few things can match the energy generated by Powerful Partnerships! In the July 2007 issue of BusinessWeek SmallBiz, they stated that "a partnership is usually hatched in a state of inspired optimism when two or more seemingly like-minded individuals come together with an idea to create a product or service and develop it into a business".
Consider Bill Gates & Paul Allen. Their partnership created one of the most recognized businesses on the planet; Microsoft. They combined their passion and worked together to amass a fortune and change the lives of everyone around them.
Here are four of the things it will take to create, build and nurture strong business partnerships.
Shared Values: In order for a partnership to even get off the ground, there have to be shared values. Without them, the partnership has little chance of surviving. When you hear of a broken partnership or any troubles within a business partnership, you will often find that the foundation was doomed to collapse from the beginning. When partnerships are first formed, shared values must be a main point of conversation and committment.
Clearly Defined Roles: Partnerships are successful because each player brings certain strengths to the table. As long as each partner sticks to their area of expertise and each can communicate clearly with each other, things go well. When partners begin to migrate into each other's personal expertise, conflict generally follows. As long as each person is aware of their strengths & their weaknesses, their partnership will flourish.
Healthy Communication: In the beginning, partnerships are almost always filled with passion and a common zest for the project. Then reality sets in, business challenges arise and the way you handle those inevitable conflicts will determine the success of your partnership. If you overreact or worse, ignore challenges or conflicts in your business, they will soon become insurmountable and your business will fail. Be the kind of partner who can receive feedback of all kinds in a healthy (not defensive) manner. When you communicate in a respectful and healthy manner; partnerships and businesses grow!
MasterMind: No one succeeds alone! In Napolean Hill's book, Think & Grow Rich, he devotes an entire chapter to the MasterMind concept. When you associate with other business owners or people with specialties in areas where you are not as strong, you strengthen your business and your partnership. Take the time to develop those relationships so your partnership can benefit from the added experience of a MasterMind.
Just like any strong marriage or successful friendship, business partnerships require an investment of time and energy. You will give yourself an excellent head start by making sure you share Common Values, Clearly Define Your Roles, keep up the Healthy Communication and surround yourself with a MasterMind to add value & longevity to your partnership. Who knows, your strong partnership may be the next Microsoft!