Preface: Partnerships require courage, collaboration, trust, risk and authenticity. These business pillars lead to a long and successful business relationship, e.g. partnership.
Credit: Donald J. Sauder, CPA, CVA
Conflicts from personality differences or value differences, result in stress that will reach beyond the business partnership; and the stress will usually interfere with healthy relationships with employees and immediate family. Then again, is that any more stress than being an employee? Maybe. Because the cost of a partnership dispute is not only emotional, but financial; and since can employees feel the stress, it can be double concern.
Trust is a pillar of any highly successful partnership. Long-lasting, enduring trust keeps partners working together for life-time. Every successful partnership, has a substantial of trust among the partners. Honesty, Integrity, Ethics. Trusted character results in respect. If you look at the best examples of business partnership, the recurring theme is pillared trust, gilded with collaboratively supportive talents that power the partners individual respect for each other’s unique and differing strengths. That respect for the unique contributions of each partner’s skills, builds the business supported with a pillar of trust that accomplishes lasting business partnership success. The eye has need for the mouth, and the mouth for hand. Again, the best domestication of successful partnerships is established on the appropriate trust and respect among the partners.
One item of note, is the lack of educational efforts towards preventing partnership conflicts and disputes before they occur. Firstly, you have a good idea right now if you’d be a good partner. If you have doubts that business collaboration is for you, or you cannot get along with your current boss, then you’ve answered your question relatively honestly. Periods of long silence when discussing key circuits of a partnership are also telling. Some people have great opportunities with great ideas for a great business, and never realize those dreams and opportunities because they cannot implement solo, and are afraid of sharing with partners for various reasons.
Jim Collins in the book Good to Great, uses the metaphor of getting the right people on the bus. It is applicable to business partnerships too. “You are a bus driver. The bus, your company, is at a standstill, and it’s your job to get it going. You must decide where you’re going, how you’re going to get there, and who’s going with you. Most people assume that great bus drivers immediately start the journey by announcing to the people on the bus where they’re going—by setting a new direction or by articulating a fresh corporate vision. In fact, leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with “where” but with “who.” They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. And they stick with that discipline—first the people, then the direction—no matter how dire the circumstances”.
If you dislike the idea of sharing driving responsibilities, or don’t want to drive the bus, then you don’t want to be a partner in a partnership.