Over the years, I collaborated or partnered with several people. Some partnerships are better than others. 3L President Scott D. Roberts is the best partnership I've had with anyone. The reason the partnership works so well might help others decide if they want to partner with someone. Now some people thrive on different kinds of collaborative relationships. So the gifts that Scott D. brings to the company and to my creative world are things that I found I personally thrive upon.
Sense of Humor. Does that sound unimportant? Well, it's very important -- especially under stress. If you can't laugh at yourself or others than life gets far too ridiculous. Anything can be diffused with a great joke, and laughter is a tremendous stress-reliever. If anyone read the texts that go back and forth between Scott and myself it would often be like reading a great stand-up routine.
Like-Mindedness with a Dash of Difference. If you have the same vision it's easier to make it happen. Thinking exactly the same though can produce vanilla pudding. So you do want to have a "dash of difference" that you can agree is good.
Fiscal Perspective. Your fiscal outlook should align. How money is spent and on what matters. You don't want to have demonstrative differences on how money is spent on the business. Lack of agreement on fiscal matters can erupt into arguments over money, which is unpleasant.
Creative Alignment. Some people don't think a good "fist-to-cuffs" over creative endeavors is a problem. They actually find the argument a good spark to ignite more artistic ideas. But I personally find creative alignment more like expansion. Taking the agreeable elements and then pushing them one step further vs. pushing back on them. If you're not in a creative industry then your goals here might be different.
Yin-Yang Balance. Emotionally and logically it's good to have a yin-yang balance, too. The ability to sit on the teeter-totter and flow back and forth with fluidity and thoughtfulness. Both going in the same direction, especially when it's a difficult situation doesn't provide a middle ground of contemplation and strategy to move forward.
I wanted to post this blog about partnerships because one of my most-read blogs is about this subject. I hope it helps leaders who are considering going into business with someone else. Good luck!