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Kisses, and Contracts!                                                                                                                               

It has been proverbially said in entrepreneurial circles that when two partners agree on everything, one of them is not necessary. This is probably a truism that is rarely given credibility until a highly-agreeable partnership goes south.


By the same token it has been often advised to never go into partnership with anyone other than your spouse because no one else shares the same values. There are of course –as with anything else– exceptions. I can think of two I’ve known that seemed to work, out of many hundreds I’ve consulted with.

(Curiously, both of these exceptions involved partners of father/son age differential, but neither was a father/son business. In both cases the older partner worked fewer hours and handled all computer and paperwork; the younger partner oversaw sales and operations.)

The point is that only a spouse can have the same single-minded purposes and focused energy to share. “Ah,” so you say, “but if my husband (or wife) ever worked with me, we’d divorce or kill each other! We already have too much friction between us and that would rapidly turn to anger!” Or, well, something like that.

Here’s the news: friction is a positive ingredient in life, without which in some form, a lot of life would even be possible. And anger? Reality dictates that anger –controlled anger– can be very stimulating, invigorating, motivating, refreshing, illuminating, and serve as a prompt to forward motion.

Anger is also a release. It can –again, in its controlled form– clear out and refocus unproductive stress, and invite innovative thinking. It can trigger improved communications.

Partners need not eat together, sleep together, and vacation together, but my experiences have shown that those who do, almost universally succeed because they share what they believe in, offset one another’s personalities, and support each other’s intents and initiatives to a fault. As a competitor, it’s hard to overcome that unified front.


The place I’ve found partnerships to be most forced, and most frequently fail, is in the professional practice arena — doctors, dentists, lawyers, allied medical sciences, accountants, management consultants. Egos far above and beyond the norm tend to flair and breed “control freaks.” Unproductive know-it-all attitudes prevail.

Winning partnerships require

winning leadership attitudes and

clearly defined separation of responsibilities.

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Hal@Businessworks.US   302.933.0116

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

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