Likeability and ability are two important factors for partnerships

This June I would have completed six years of writing this weekly column. Probably one of the few weekly columns on Public Relations in the English language. And two things that I have realised in the process is I like what I do, and I have had the ability to do that consistently. I have missed deadlines at times but ensured 50 columns each year. We take two weeks of time off. So that doesn’t count.

Well, talking of Liking and Ability I’m digressing a bit to write about something that is more in the entrepreneurial spirit having been one for a few years now. What goes into entrepreneurship that involves other partners? Why do people come together to co-create new ventures? The answer lies in the two words that you see in the headline of this column. Liking for each other and a belief that the partner has the ability to complement the other.

Therefore, every partnership has an inherent philosophy and I will write about a new partnership I’m aiming to embark on this summer. So, I have always had the desire to build more platforms for exchange of ideas. However, the bandwidth of my team and I has not permitted us to do so. We felt we will get there when we find the right set of individuals. And there are times you find someone you like but may not have the ability you’re looking for or many a times you find the person with ability but there may not be mutual liking.

A partnership also does not necessarily have to be of equals. That does not make the partnership unequal. If partners are secure in the coming together and are aware of their strengths and weaknesses as well as of the others in the partnership, then there is a lot of seamlessness. Partners cannot have egos and partners should learn the art of playing on each other’s strengths.

So, I came across a potential partner in the middle of last year and we got talking about the possibility of building couple of platforms together. It has taken us over a dozen meetings and multiple conversations that we will create a venture that builds 3-4 platforms over the next two years. We agreed to do so because we complemented each other. I enjoy planning, fund-raising and event marketing. The partner enjoys event curation and managing the event day, along-side post-event collateral building. We also play the role of advising each other professionally without being condescending. So, its easy to move ahead with limited or no stress points.

We see umpteen successful PR firms in India that are well established and many more that have mushroomed in the last few years. Those that have done extremely well are those which had a set of partners. So, partnerships can be a matter of pride if a few rules are followed. These include five mantras that has led to my existing two professional partnerships thriving –

a) Being Mindful – Watching out for each other and ensuring there is an eye for detail
b) Being Affable – Friendliness and respect of each other and for everyone we interact with
c) Being Nimble – Ensuring flexibility with a focus on excellence and discipline. This is big!
d) Being Open – Transparency and fair in all dealings is the hallmark of any partnership
e) Being Resilient – Never giving up especially in times of adversity

So, a partnership can have all of the above and fail or none of the above and still succeed. The bottom line is if in personal lives as well as in the world of work, if two partners like each other and believe in each other’s ability to thrive and make a success out of the coming together, the partnership is for keeps.

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Amith Prabhu
Amith Prabhu is the Founder of the PRomise Foundation which organises PRAXIS, India’s annual summit of reputation management professionals.

He is also the Founding Dean of the School of Communications & Reputation (SCoRe).

He can be reached at @amithpr on twitter.

1 Comment on "Likeability and ability are two important factors for partnerships"

  1. #partner4progress. A good partnership makes moments of magic an everyday reality. You get specialists who know and love what they do, and together it can harmonize an overall project or initiative

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