What makes a good partner? I’m referring to partner in a business sense here. When I refer to “partner” here I’m referring to how I engage in a partnership with my clients. So I’d like you to put me to the test. Will Schroter over at Bigger Blog from the Go Big Network created a post called How to Test Whether or not to Take on a Partner. Will mentions four criteria’s that a good partner should have. Take a minute to read through his criteria and let me know how I am doing.
Many of you have heard me speak and write about what I do (other than blog, that is). I am a husband, father, and friend. My business is that of a professional business coach and consultant.
What exactly do I do in my business? As you may have seen and heard in my Oddcast clip, I partner with professionals, executives, managers, business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals who are looking to affect real and sustainable change in their business and personal lives.
When I use the term “partner”, I mean that I engage in a partnership with my clients. It is truly a collaborative process designed to meet each client’s agenda, objectives, and goals. Throughout the progression of our business partnership, each individual that I serve is inspired and moved to maximize his or her professional and personal potential and productivity.
Why am I telling you all of this? I’d like you to put me to the test.
I came across a post over at Will Schroter’s Bigger Blog from the Go BIG Network titled “How to Test Whether or not to Take on a Partner.” In that post, Will had this to say:
“Before you even consider taking on a partner, you need to ask yourself a few hard questions about whether or not the person sitting across the table from you is a really going to be there in good times and in bad.”
Ultimately, you have to ask yourself: “How do you know if that person you’re about to be married to is truly the right fit?”
Will Schroter has four suggestions he lays out for consideration:
- Contributing Real Skills – If you’re considering a partner just because they have complementary skills, you want to find someone who is exceptional at those skills, not mediocre. You can always find people that have basic skills and can work inexpensively. A partner is someone that is a true guru.
- Commitment and Stamina – Even if someone passes the skills test, you still need someone that will match your commitment to the startup. You’re going to be spending a ridiculous amount of time holed up in an office giving up friends, family and anything that resembles a social life. Is your partner going to do that?
- Never Partner with an Architect – Before you consider taking the architect on as a partner for their great expertise, ask yourself “what’s this guy going to do a year from now?” A good partner doesn’t lose value after the launch of your company.
- Good Partners Never Fade – The reason great partnerships work so well is because they stand the test of time. Both parties are equally committed, capable and useful throughout the life of the partnership. As soon as one partner loses steam and begins to fade, problems are soon to follow.
How do I measure up to Will’s criteria?
Skills – I am a professional business coach trained and experienced in partnering with individuals in collaborative, thought-provoking, creative processes designed to bring out their full potential. I bring 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, business owner, venture capitalist, philanthropic patron, and corporate citizen (from my intensive tenure as director of a global investment bank).
Commitment – Each client to a partnership has made a commitment to himself/herself and invested in a process that will help them to become who they want to be, and I am fully committed to assisting and supporting them in making that happen. Each client expects my best and will get it. I know that they’re ready to make meaningful and sustainable changes in their lives. If the partnership isn’t working for you, it has failed.
Value Over Time – This relationship is about YOU. This partnership is focused entirely upon your interests, challenges, and goals. Growing and supporting YOU in this relationship is the main concern. If your goals change and/or your needs are met through this partnership, the relationship can be ended. This is NOT a marriage. This is a collaboration that exists while you need it and until you don’t.
I know I’ve passed the test. My current and past clients know it as well.
A final thought: I believe a partnership should also be about transparency. That is, to make the relationship beneficial to all concerned, each party should feel unencumbered to communicate honestly and succinctly about their needs, desires, and goals.
If you’re looking for the following in a partnership:
AN OUTSIDE PERSPECTIVE – Someone who can offer a fresh perspective and point out your blind spots in a safe environment,
AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER – A person who is an extension of you that shares your goals and dreams and reminds you of them at the right time,
THE TRUTH – Most people have a vested interest in keeping you happy, sometimes at the expense of honesty. I tell you the truth 100% of the time,
You needn’t look and further.