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“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” Helen Keller

What do successful partnerships have in common? There is a wide range of aspects to consider when entering a partnership, but here are a few key ones that apply across the spectrum of alliances: Trust Not surprisingly, trust is the foundation for any successful partnership. In practice, this means both parties are able to give and take. The attitude of giving a full commitment to the partnership will usually result in getting the same commitment in return.

Mutual Respect If you look at famous partnerships, you’ll notice that each pair has complementary skill sets that allow the partners to respect each other’s unique strengths. Keith Richards, for example, as an expert musician, relies on Mick Jagger’s skills as a vocalist, lyricist and businessman. Similarly, when founding Apple in 1976, the technical skills of Steve Wozniak paired with Steve Jobs’ business foresight made them the ultimate business match. Wozniak, a master of analytics, admits that he never once thought to sell his original computer model. That was all Jobs.

Agree on a vision It’s important that partners aren’t too different when it comes to goals. When Hewlett and Packard launched their business in a garage in Palo Alto, California, in 1939, they shared the same mission and objective: to build an electronics company. A shared vision – both for the short and long term – helps partners manage expectations and enhance collaboration.

Open and honest communication Taking on a partner is like taking on a spouse. That means you need to have honest and open communication – no matter how difficult the topic. This includes talking about money, mistakes and different management styles.

Agree on the financials As unromantic as a prenuptial agreement, a robust partnership agreement saves everyone involved a lot of heartache if things go wrong. At the end of the day, the key to a successful partnership is making sure that you get along with your business partner. It’s important to find someone who complements your skills, but don’t underestimate the importance of actually liking one another as human beings.

SOURCES: businessdictionary.com n inc.com n forbes.com n entrepreneur.com n businessinsider.com

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Gallery | March 2016 | the PARTNERSHIPS issue  

Postcode Partnerships, Partners in Crime, MUCK, Marching into Yorkshire, Invest Like The Gurus, Perfecting Partnerships, The Internet of Th...

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