There is a negative sentiment around partnerships in that “They do not work”. At the base level, partnerships are relationships that can be short term or long term, and that exist in both our personal lives and business. Think about how much we “partner”. We have bestfriends, spouses, business partners, outside companies as partners to our business, internal departments, customers, vendors, etc. All partnerships start with excitement because they include due dilligence and the belief that there is a fantastic “fit”. And we obviously do not partner with the intention of failing, so why do most partnerships fail?
Regardless of the type of partnership, strain is typically caused by the perception of someone not doing their part. We are all human and therefore make mistakes. If a partnership is important enough to us we must be grown up enough to understand that others will lack the capacity we are use to and will do things that upset us from time to time. This happenes in even the best and most rewarding partnerships, so we must accept it if it is an important partnerhship. Also take some comfort in knowing that good partners do not make mistakes intentionally. They are typically striving to hit their goals just like us, and an unfortunate a side effect is them not having us or our perception in mind when doing so. It creates lumps in the partnership because we feel like they no longer have the time (capacity) or focus to take care of our needs. But if we can understand their side and still believe the partnership is good, it is usually premature to let the lumps be the cause of dissolution. And to add one disclaimer to this message: We should not let any partner continuously/consistently make mistakes or disrespect us or our organization – recognize that there are some partnerships that are destined to fail because there was a total miss-read on the initial fit, or the other side had a drastic change in mid-stream. This message is about not letting good partnerships fail because of our own lack of understanding and maturity.
In summary…. Others will screw up. Accept it and also accept the notion that others will not accept our screw ups. Strive for perfection and do not expect it in return – hence the concept of Leadership is not fair and never was meant to be. Leaders focus on doing the right things, at the right time, and accept that others will not be perfect. Striving to be the best and accepting that others often will not, goes a long way in controlling our stress level and making partnerships much more fruitful. Letting our egos and emotions get out of control becauses of something a partner did or did not do is the quickest way to dissolving good partnerships.