How to coexist and interact with a business partner: four principles

People talking in the office

About the basic rules that will help build an effective business without unnecessary stress and with intensive development, says Oleg Krot, Managing Partner of TECHIIA Holding.

Thinking about the partnership phenomenon, I remembered the movie "The Mighty" (1998).

The story centers on two teenagers: Max, a silent and clumsy giant, and Kevin nicknamed "Freak" — a small, clever boy who moved on crutches due to an illness. They were constantly mocked and bullied at school. After another incident, the boys decided to fight back against their classmates by uniting into a giant knight. Climbing onto Max's shoulders, Kevin became the mastermind behind which the stocky giant smashed the attackers.

Moving from the literal to the metaphorical, “The Mighty” remains one of my most essential collaboration films. It reveals the most crucial part of the partnership, which I call the multiplication of talents. This and a few more principles of joint business management I break down in the following text.

1. Distribute responsibilities

If the company is managed by two people, and both have the same vision of plans for development or getting out of this or that situation, it makes no sense. Each of you doesn't have to be universal but you should concentrate on your main skills.

Another managing partner of our holding, and I have different competencies. For example, I am an economist by profession. I look for investors and bring companies to new markets. I mostly lead our projects in Europe and Asia because I have worked in these markets for more than ten years.

My partner deals with strategic planning. He lives in the USA and mostly manages our projects there. He is a computer systems engineer by profession and this is one of the reasons his favorite projects are technology-based ones.

What do we get from such a division of responsibilities? Firstly, we are building a diversified holding of multi-vector assets, thanks to which the business is becoming more and more sustainable as a whole. Secondly, this is a more convenient way to manage a team: employees at all levels understand who to go to with which question. And thirdly, this is how we maintain the right distance and do not micromanage or excessively control each other. Development requires space, and we gave it to each other.

Our cooperation is built on the "do what works best" principle. And it does work: the holding grows from year to year.

2. Don’t “hog the blanket”

A business partnership somewhat resembles a marital relationship. It is important for partners to understand each other's strengths and weaknesses and how they will deal with them.

Let's imagine that one of the partners is much stronger in many aspects. Such relationships can be productive and provide an environment for development. But it won't last forever. At some point, the weaker partner will become stronger and resist.

Or, in case both partners are too similar, they will almost one hundred percent "pull the blanket" – that is, they compete to take over most of the powers without taking into account the interests of the partner. But in competition, partners weaken each other and the joint project.

The signals partners give to employees, especially the CEO, are very important. C-Level managers perceive the struggle between founders as a standard of relations in the company and a model of managing subordinates. If you see that your employees lack independence in decision-making, it is often due to the example they follow.

The ideal version of a business relationship is that your partner is equal in strength and scale of personality and differs in habits and ideas. Based on our partnership experience, I know that sometimes the air between you can get electrified, but best solutions are born in such friction.

3. Give your partner the right to make a mistake

"Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan," said John F. Kennedy. In a business relationship, partners must be responsible for each other's decisions. If they blame each other for bad decisions, they will not last long together. Failures should be a reason to jointly review the strategy and work on mistakes.

Punctures and unsuccessful investments are constant companions of entrepreneurs. About two dozen startups that my partner and I invested in burned down. If we quarreled after every failure, we would not have built a large international business.

It takes time to develop the right attitude toward failure. We used to fight for every startup, but with time we have become more pragmatic. If quarterly reports do not match, market indicators have fallen, and there are no conscious growth forecasts — we decide to shut down such a business.

4. Enjoy your collaboration

Partners can be an effective team and make good money together. But it is equally important how they feel in the process and this relationship.

The satisfaction of working together is the glue of partnerships. Admiration for a partner's talents and the pleasure of cooperation can save a business even in hard times. The ability to enjoy signals security, and therefore the ability to trust. Trust is built through mutual support in upheavals, sincerity, and attentiveness to the person with whom you are doing business.

You should be able to have fun together. I have been very lucky with my partner because with him it is interesting both to discuss new books and research and to debate the vector of development of our projects. And since we argue quite often, it is crucial that the shared emotional ground is solid.

All the nuances of partner interaction are directly reflected in the business. There is a lot of personal stuff in a productive business partnership, and emotional comfort weighs no less than the number of deals or the value of common assets. At the same time, mature partnerships are not a gift from heaven but daily joint work. I hope the principles I have shared will help you make this work easier and more fun.

Source: Entrepreneur

Suscríbase a las noticias
Últimas noticias
Produced by WePlay Studios, the event was chosen as the best one by fans worldwide in the AI, Metaverse & Virtual — Entertainment, Sports & Music category.
WePlay Studios and Grammy Award-winning producer Larrance "Rance" Dopson are joining forces to create more content focusing on cultural themes.
Informe de Responsabilidad Social Corporativa 2020-2023