If you have partners in a business, having a sound partnership is vital.
As the African saying goes, “if you want to go further, go together.”.
A partnership allows you to synergize on each other’s strengths, pull together resources, and back each other up, like in the cops in the movies.
These days, in the commercial world, things are getting fairly complex. We can’t be experts in everything. We would rely on others to help to forge ahead.
Below are seven pointers when selecting the right partner to work with.
Without trust, there is no partnership.
Trust is fundamental in all relationships. Especially more so in business as it concerns money, accountability, and support.
In business, frequently, there is a need to make crucial decisions. We would need our partners to trust and support these decisions.
If there is no trust between partners, there will be limited progress.
Besides trust, alignment is of paramount importance when working with others. Alignment sets the strategic direction for all parties to work and aspire.
Just like a ship moving out of the port with a definitive direction and destination, partners should maneuver with the same objective.
If each party takes a different strategic view on things, then there is no alignment. The partnership will go south if the opposing views are not addressed quickly.
#3 Same values
All of us have different values and beliefs.
Wars have been fought because of the differences in values and beliefs.
While we don’t expect you to go to war with your business partner, what we instead hope is to minimize them. Having similar values and beliefs is one such way to minimize potential conflicts.
When you and your partner have the same or similar values and beliefs, there is quicker acceptance of actions and decisions. There is a lesser need for rationalization and justification. It becomes tiresome if there is a constant need to justify every decision and action.
These sessions of justification themselves can potentially lead to frustration and discontentment.
#4 Complementary skillset
Having a partner with a complementary skill set is a blessing.
If we may look at history, the founders of Apple and Microsoft were partners with different skill sets and strengths. With their complementary skill sets, the partners in both organizations have managed to grow int two of the largest in the world today.
Personally, we can’t be the master of everything. We need to rely on others to complement us where we are weak.
Having a supportive partner is essential. There will be days when we would need additional help or support.
Support can come in many forms – mental, emotional, financial, etc. Or simply just being there.
The life of an entrepreneur has its ups and downs. You would need support in many forms.
#6 Open communication
Being able to have open communication is vital.
There are many moving parts when running a business. Some of them will result in issues that need to be fixed.
By having open communication, things can be quickly sorted out and move ahead.
Partners who don’t communicate well will lead to frustration.
Partners who do not communicate openly will lead the partnership down the road of dissolution as trust is no longer there.
Agreements will arise when running a business. Open communication will help weather the storms of these agreements.
Tolerance is a cornerstone of any partnership. There will be differences in thinking, views, and behaviors.
When there is a clash in these aspects of co-existing with another, being able to tolerate them will determine how long the partnership will last.
Thus having a partner with a good temperament is essential. You do not want a partner who is too reactive or emotional.
The above are ideal attributes you should find in a partner. The reality of life is that it is challenging to find someone with all seven qualities. Also, when under duress, they may behave differently.
Hence except being complementary in skillsets, you should strive to find a partner who is similar to you and have a good temperament. With a person with a good personality, the chances of a partnership surviving longer will be higher.