Partnership

I’m planning to spend most of the next 3 or 4 months searching for a business partnership. If you’re reading this, in fact, it may be because you and I already had coffee, lunch or a beer to discuss ideas.

I bring creativity, connections and a charismatic-but-stable form of leadership. You bring the latter, plus a greater depth in technology (defined as making things). We’ll both need to sell.

Or perhaps you have an existing business – a small shop that’s ready to grow. If it’s a marketing agency, that’s OK. If it’s a media or tech company, that’s OK, too. If you want to brew beer or otherwise contribute to a better world, we are getting warmer.

The point is, it’s time to build something. I have done the go-it-alone thing. Partnership is the way I want to go next.

Transparency

Letting others in is creative. We are transparent, to varying degrees, with clients, reports, patients and colleagues. This act enables sales, relationships, knowledge and efficiency.

Like any creative act, transparency is risky. Will we scare them off? What do we say next? How much more of the story will we have left to tell?

But work is not storytelling – or if it is, it’s the type of storytelling that looks like a daily journey to the bottom of the well. Draw up everything you have, and put it all to use.

When you turn off your screens tonight they will go opaque. You’ll get your rest and possibly dream – more opacity. You’ll wake up and clear your head with a shower and maybe some exercise, put on your work clothes and push through the double glass doors at the office. You’ll start your hours of opening up.

Loyalty

This quality or emotion was overemphasized for quite a while. Now it’s underemphasized. Business people bounce around. Employers struggle to determine where their loyalty best resides – with clients or with staff. Instead of taking a decision, they allow the struggle to continue.

A vertical core through heart, mind and muscle, loyalty provides the strength to face forward and persevere. If that sounds stilted, it’s because we have lost the sense of how important these qualities are for business outcomes.

Then there are loyalty cards – tiny, plastic relics of that ancient, deeper connection between values and outcomes. I sort of like them. Flash the card, cut to a more realistic price, thank your shopkeeper. Return card to billfold, lift the bag, breathe and walk out through the big, glass doors.