Not a customer. Not a vendor. Not a collaborator.
A Partner isn’t someone you simply DO business with, it takes more trust than that.
A transactional focused business person is just fine with a Win-Lose situation. A smart business person would rather create a Win-Win. A true partner is okay with a Lose-Win situation in the near term if it means the opportunity for a bigger Win-Win in the long term.
When things are going well, you can’t tell the difference between a business acquaintance and a partner. Both will act the same way and you will be happy. When Murphy’s Law inevitably takes ahold of the project, the relationship gets strained and you will start to notice the difference. The acquaintance will point fingers and liberate themselves of blame. The partner will bring together all the parties involved to find the solution, then determine what the right thing is to do.
It is about doing the right thing, not the best thing for me.
This doesn’t mean always taking the blame or covering for others. It might be the acquaintance and the partner both point the fingers in the same direction in some cases. Over time, having a business partner on your team making decisions on principle rather than best for me will become invaluable.
Our customers trust us so much that they send blank purchase orders. An acquaintance will try to keep creeping that price up. A partner will charge fair price for the services provide and seek to maintain that confidence.
Everyone makes mistakes, sometimes you need to call in a favor. A partner is happy to make that happen, even if it comes at an expense to them. They know that down the road, they might also make a mistake and need some help from their partner as well.
A partner isn’t a technique. It’s not a manipulation. It isn’t a marketing gimmick.
A partner is a way of thinking, a mindset, a culture.
Everyone says these things; few of them follow through. Give us the opportunity to demonstrate it to you and let us know what you think.