from Entrepreneur.com 09 Jan 15 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Partnering to find the perfect Co-Founder takes understanding, significant effort and above all else, a sincere desire to make it work. [Just like any relationship] I’m proud to say that I’ve been married for 25 years. A few of my business partnerships have lasted nearly as long. My right-hand man and I have been working together for more than 16 years. I co-founded a business with another 13 years ago. I can tell you one thing: When it comes to these partnerships, I’ve made plenty of mistakes. But I’ve also learned what it means to see a relationship through, to nurture it & strive to improve it. The success of your business depends on your ability to create & maintain productive partnerships. Use these tips to create meaningful, long-lasting partnerships.
1. Identify your personal Strengths & Weaknesses. What are you good at? What do you do well? Your partner should complement you. If you focus on seeking out people who have different skill sets from yours, you’ll be stronger together – as a team – than you are apart. Don’t be afraid to be dependent on your partner. In a good partnership, both people bring something important to the table.
2. Discuss your Long-Term Goals upfront. Are they similar? Are they compatible? You might disagree about how to get there, but you and your partner should share the same Vision. The crucial question to answer is, will you both be able to achieve your goals by working together?
3. Define your Roles “explicitly”. You do not want to overlap in your efforts. Before you get started, decide who is responsible for what. These roles may change over time – as needs change – but must be established up front to avoid conflict.
4. Communicate regularly. This piece of advice seems obvious, but it’s so important. How do you communicate? How often? Is it working for both of you? Setting a regular time frequently, will help facilitate talking about any problems that arise — which inevitably will.
5. Remember that no one likes Surprises. On significant issues – when you have the slightest doubt – inform your partner of what you’re thinking and get their approval.
6. Respect one another. Let your partner know you appreciate their wisdom & contribution. Always consider what to do, to maintain their trust.
7. Put things in Writing. Having an Partnering Agreement in place, that will define the Mission, Vision of venture and the responsibilities for each of you.
8. Pick up the Phone. Using Email to communicate about important issues is a weak substitute. Tone & intention can be too easily mis-interpreted. Phone, so you can get immediate feedback on their thoughts & feelings.
9. If you make a Mistake, admit it quickly. The sooner you take responsibility for an error, the more quickly you will both be able to move on. Your partner will appreciate truthfulness and ofter help you with a solution.
10. Don’t let any Discontent fester. When you have differences, bring them out in the “open”, so you can discuss them. Maybe it’s just a mis-understanding, that can be resolved easily. If you avoid airing your grievances, you may begin to blow things out of proportion to the “real” problem.
11. Define what Small vs. Big problems are. Not everything is a big problem. In fact, most things aren’t. It helps to be reminded of that. When I’m over-reacting, my partner is able to ask, “Is this a big or a small problem?” Does it need immediate attention or can it wait to a more appropriate time?
12. Plan your Action & Support one another. Frequently (ie, weekly), draw up a To Do list and assign responsibilities. If, because of circumstances, your partner cant meet his deadlines (if possible), see if you can help them.
Conclusion: Partnering is a never-ending work in progress. Don’t let issues that arise be dismissed as irrelevant. They could come back to bite you. Practice maintaining a good relationship – that is good for both of you – or disolve it and get a more compatible partner.
Comments: Is there anything you can add to this subject?