By Steve Nobel, Nobelinks
Partnerships have alchemy. I wrote recently about Pascucci DeLisle and Biddle+Barton, two unique partnerships in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This is how I see good partnerships: 1 + 1 = 3 or even more. Those examples prove that partnerships benefit not just business but also the individuals personally and professionally.
There are so many other examples: Kandrac & Kole in Atlanta, Maslany Walker of Philadelphia. Monika Maslany credited the success of Maslany Walker to their complementary skills in a comment on my last post.
Good partnerships that are both mutually-rewarding and lasting inspire me. They make the best of the advantages and overcome the obstacles. So, I looked around to find some others that you will recognize. I found these in Worth magazine.
Gazillionaire partners Sergey Brin and Larry Page revolutionized the way we do research and find information with the invention of the search engine Google. They share common values about their responsibility to each other and the enterprise. Saying ‘no’ to the Chinese government is a gutsy adherence to those values.
Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, co-producers of films like A Beautiful Mind and DaVinci Code say they respect each other’s work ethic, taste and everything that comes from those qualities. “Because we trust each other and feel safe enough to criticize each other’s work objectively,” they say, “it makes for better results.”
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, front men for heavy metal rock band KISS, say partnership goes beyond finding a buddy who agrees with you. “It means finding someone who can disagree with you, to test whether your ideas are valid or just whims.” Face paint and pyrotechnics aren’t whims, are they?
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana knew their eponymous fashion house needed both of them to survive after their romantic partnership ended. Their continued collaboration has made Dolce & Gabbana one of the most respected and revered names in fashion. They still embrace la dolce vita as they take their bows arm-in-arm on the runway.
Iconic ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s has two scoops: one is the creative risk taker and the other the practical, supportive one. Sounds like an inspired interior design firm to me.
For those of you who are partners, what qualities of your relationship do you recognize in these examples? How does your partnership work for you? How do you align authority, not divide it? Are you more like two bodies with one mind, left and right? Do you know each other’s strengths, and when to get out of each other’s way? How do you resolve differences? How do you make your partnership mutually beneficial? If you do, congratulations, your business must be so rewarding in so many ways.