It’s A “WE” Thing… The Awesomesauce That Make Partnerships Rock

Photo credit: Julie Laurendeau









It is probably not love that makes the world go around, but rather those mutually supportive alliances through which partners recognize their dependence on each other for the achievement of shared and private goals. ~Fred Allen


If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. African proverb


I am  passionate about helping people create open, effective and profitable partnerships. Why you wonder?  Partnerships are ultimately about building community. Sharing gifts.

Its a “WE” thing.

Partnerships, Sponsorships, Joint Ventures,  Coalition Building are all built on the rock of “WE”.

Life is ultimately a  “WE” thing. Life is ultimately about building community and the sharing of our gifts.

Strong  businesses and organizations are are all based on the foundation. The premise being we  can do so much more together than we can separately. We are stronger because we recognize that there  isn’t  a  sole answer to the most important questions, and we welcome others  as partners to serve the needs of our customers, clients and communities.

Sustainability comes from interdependence. We need partners.  Partners to work alongside us, who will help  accelerate our work  into needed  products,  and into desired markets.  In  strong partnerships both sides benefit. Its smart business that  ultimately help to create strong communities.

So why don’t we do the WE thing more?

We grapple with independence vs. interdependence.  Let’s be real….We  actually need each other.  We actually need each other more than ever before.

Our natural inclination is to go at it alone and stay rooted in old stories and paradigms.  The questions of feasibility,  of cost, of time and energy of including  multiple partners elsewhere in the world just seem so overwhelming. You are a non-profit organization who does great work, and wants to expand your impact. You want to choose partners who will respect the mission of your organization, while bringing in needed exposure, funding or resources.

To step out and partner with someone takes courage. It is scary but great things can come from it.

How do you know when to say yes to a partnership?

Here are a few critical questions to help you begin to think about partnerships in a new exciting way.

  • Why do you want to enter into this partnership? Are you looking to increase your income, build your audience, gain exposure or position your organization for growth in the future? A partnership home run would include all of these elements.
  • How does this project/partnership fit into your current body of work and future business goals? Be clear about your goals and values. What values do you share with your potential partner?  Be honest- Is this a true strategic fit?
  • How much time and money will this partnership require? Clearly define how much time and money will need to be invested in the project before and after launch? Discuss any outside business activities that could impact this partnership
  • What specific strengths, skills and resources you are looking for in a Partner?  Have your potential partners done similar partnerships like this in the past? How did it go?  How will you both  define success?

We all need to be a bit braver and connect with partners. Opening ourselves to new demographics, groups, communities and opportunities. I am hoping 2011 is about  More WE and less me.




Special Announcement:

Pamela Slim and I have created a Partnership Playbook. This playbook will teach you everything you need to know on how to successfully find and establish highly effective partnerships that will increase income, exposure and impact



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