True business partnership requires an investment from all of the partners. As with any investment, it is wise to count the cost. So what is the cost of true partnership? Here are a few investments I’ve made in my partners:
My Time: I have spent countless hours with my partners, responding to needs and making plans. Sometimes this is a scheduled event and at other times, it is a last minute meeting after 5. I’m not watching the clock, I’m watching my partner.
My Listening Ear: Most of what I learn about my partners, I learn by listening rather than by talking. By listening to determine the underlying issue, my solutions will intuitively hit home. Reserving my opinion for later, hearing my partner out, putting distractions on-hold enables me to truly listen.
My Honest Word: True partnership means that I have a responsibility to let my partner know the truth. Give and take is required in a balanced relationship and that means that I may ask my partner to stretch beyond the norm or help me out with a creative solution. If your partners know they will get the latest news from you, trust is built. Speaking the truth with integrity and love is to speak an honest word.
Trust is the bridge you need to cross the challenges any partnership will face. As I reflect on partnerships that I am involved in, I immediately think of relationships. Just as healthy relationships require time and effort to build and maintain, partnerships require on-going attention.
So, what does the investment in partnership bring as ROI? A continuing return of respect, win-win business arrangements, value for both parties, and the joy of working with your partners to weather the storms and pull off a good solution for all. There is a satisfaction in going home at night knowing that you have honored your partners and your own organization—to do your work well and provide results. You are at peace in your own soul and have few regrets. True partnership is well worth the cost!
“Choose a good reputation over great riches, for being held in high esteem is better than having silver or gold.” (Proverbs 22:1 NLT)