Think of all the famous and successful business pairings there are and have been in the world. People like Ben and Jerry of ice cream fame or Warner Bros. moguls Sam, Jack, Albert, and Harry. There’s Bill Hewlett and David Packard; Richard and Maurice McDonald; and Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak from Apple. So what makes a perfect business partner?
According to the Forbes article, “What to Look for in a Business Partner,” writer Melanie Lindner suggests five necessary traits to make a business partnership work. They are:
- Complementary skills
- Ability to listen, strength to disagree
- Clean track record
- Solid contacts
- Common goals
Lindner’s supposition is that even if the business is successful, without these qualities, the relationship will eventually fail. Jobs and Wozniak are evidence of this.
While Jobs dreamed of financial superstardom, Wozniak, the engineer, just wanted to monkey around with computers. Writes Wozniak in his 2006 autobiography, iWoz: “I was sure, even at [age] twenty-two, that I didn’t want to switch from engineering to management, ever.”
However, having these five traits doesn’t necessarily ensure business success. The Inc. article, “5 Reasons it Might Be Time to Find a New Business Partner,” suggests there are red flags that can signal when it’s time for a partnership to end. Conversely, these five things are important to keeping the partnership strong:
- Open communication, especially when problems arise
- Complete trust, even when it comes to decision-making
- Being on the same page (similar to common goals above)
- Not letting your ego get in your way
- Understanding each person’s role in the organization
Perhaps the perfect business partner is only a myth. However, much of the success of a partnership likely has to do with the individuals involved. If you want to read about great partnerships, get a copy of Micheal Eisner’s book Working Together: Why Great Partnerships Succeed. The book talks about 10 different partnerships that have made changes in the world. Some of the partnership he explores are Frank Wells & Michael Eisner, Warren Buffett & Charlie Munger, Bill & Melinda Gates, and Brian Grazer & Ron Howard. Not all have been successful, but they work as a team toward their goals.
If you are ready to find the right business partner(s) to help your organization grow, we can help. We are dedicated to finding successful partnering solutions so you and your business can achieve top line revenue growth. Contact us for more information, check out our website and read our latest blog.