Today my wife and I are celebrating 26 years of marriage. That’s a long time! Over dinner last night, we talked about our marriage and talked about things that we want to work on in the coming years, and celebrated our 26 years of life together and marriage. We would both say that if you want a marriage that lasts, it takes work! Over the years, we’ve had our ups and downs, we’ve hit different crisis points, and our relationship has been strained, strengthened and celebrated. Today, I celebrate this partnership I have with Gina, and I look forward to the years to come, and to continuing to deepen our marriage, our commitment to each other and our love as we continue to pass through different stages of life and family.
Marriage is a partnership. You have to pay attention to it. You have to work on it. You have to evaluate it. You have to come together to create strategy and purpose, as well as goals and objectives. It doesn’t just happen.
I was looking at a book recently by Daniel Rickett entitled, “Building Strategic Relationships”. It’s a book about partnership.
He talks about 3 questions every organization needs to ask when defining strategic partnerships. (I’m now talking about organizational partnerships, not marriage!). I’ll comment after each of Rickett’s questions:
#1) Do You Really Need a Partner?
Many times we enter into partnership, and there’s not a need for it. We’re not real sure what we need to accomplish, what our goals and objectives are, but we think that working with others is important. Before you identify a partner, ask yourself what your goals are, what your needs are, and what you hope to accomplish out of the partnership. Every partnership should have a clear purpose!
#2) Are You Ready for Partnership?
Many times, we enter into partnership, but we’re not ready. We’re not ready to collaborate. We’re not clear on our values and our purpose. We don’t have the right people to manage the partnership. We’re so used to doing things on our own that we don’t know what it looks like to engage with someone else, or with another organization. We need to be READY. This means that we assign energy, people, resources and time to make this partnership work. Remember, partnerships just don’t happen, they take work.
#3) Are You and the Potential Partner Compatible?
“Compatibility is the degree to which partners have the characteristics necessary to work together successfully.” (Rickett) Do you share the same goals, the same practice, the same commitment to partnership? A successful partnership takes 2 people or 2 willing organizations. Sometimes people and organizations come from such different positions that partnership is impossible. Before entering into an agreement, check each other out. Know what you’re getting into and know all you can about who you’re aligning yourself with.
Looking at these questions, they could be asked of a couple in premarital counseling, because marriage and partnership have a lot in common.
Are you willing to do what it takes for your partnership to last? To be successful? To make an impact?
If so, enter into it and celebrate the collaboration and the results of that partnership.
I am privileges to have many partnerships with leaders and organizations in my personal network, and I’m thrilled to work with an organization that values partnership.
However, today, the partnership I celebrate is one that has caused me to grow as a man, as a father, as a husband over the past years; One that has weathered storms, one full of grace and love, and one that will last. Gina, it’s an adventure to be in partnership with you! Vamos adelante!