Power of 2 – How to make the most of your partnerships at work and in life by Rodd Wagner and Gale Muller, PH.D.
Because it’s been said that important as it is to choose the right partner, it’s probably more important to be the right partner. We focus on changing the wrong person. So it was with a great deal of self searching that I agreed to partner with Andy Klausner in our new alliance known as P3 Consulting. An edgy and innovative approach to inspiring people and organizations to be the best they can be. As a precursor to our alliance, I bought this book for Andy and found out that I was the side of the partnership needing to read it.
The authors make the point that humans are made for collaborating in a newly do-it-yourself world. Their research revealed eight elements of a powerful partnership:
- Complementary Strengths
- A Common Mission
In closing, the authors remind us that being a great partner is hard work. (In business and in your personal life.) The two of you must always stay on the common ground of a shared mission. Both of you are apt to overestimate your own contributions, to see the other’s weaknesses clearer than his own strengths, to find the other’s way of doing things odd, to make wrong assumptions and communicate too little, and perhaps to find trust itself elusive. The most dangerous trap of collaboration is the convenient availability of someone else to blame for its failure. Collaborating well demands a degree of accommodation and humility rarely needed otherwise.
If you want to have a great partnership, be a great partner. Get beyond yourself. Give up the notion that you are well-rounded, and stop expecting your colleagues to be universally proficient. Incorporate someone else’s motivations into your view of the accomplishment. Loosen up. Put aside your competitive nature, your prepackaged view of how the thing should be done, and your desire not to be inconvenienced with the imperfections of a fellow human being. Focus more on what you do for the partnership than what you get from it. Demonstrate trust in more people, and see if they don’t surprise you with their trustworthiness. Be slower to anger and quicker to forgive. And along the way, communicate continuously.
As you do, incredible things will happen. You will discover more comrades among your colleagues. You will find greater strengths in yourself and in your collaborators. Your happiness will increase. You will achieve greater heights than you thought attainable. Most important, you will not stand alone on these summits.
That is the Power of 2