F R OM T H E F O U N D E R
What makes a good partner?
These are some of the most important qualities to look for in a potential business partner.
M ost of us who are owners of businesses have partners or fellow owners of one sort or another. It’s really common in this business to have multiple owners of firms.
I think a lot of people believe partners should all be like-minded. Heck, if you asked me if I thought they should be that 35 years ago, I would have said “yes.” But today, we know better. It’s all about diversity. And not just diversity in sex, race, or national origin – although those things make sense because we live in a diverse world – but also diversity in thought and experience. But that presents a problem. Diverse-thinking people don’t always get along. And the partners in a business need to do get along or it’ll be hell. So the ability for different types of people to get along is a requirement for good partners. I could talk all day about the benefits of diverse- thinking partners who get along, but there is more to it than that. Here are the qualities that have been present in some of the best partners I have had over the years:
1. Big picture thinkers who can get beyond their roots. The worst partners I have had or observed in client companies over the years could never take off their “Kansas City office leader” hat or their “HVAC engineer” hat to see the bigger picture and support what was really best for the whole company. 2. People who are honest and ethical. There just isn’t any room in the tent for dishonest or unethical people, especially for those who are the owners of the business. They will always do something that brings shame or embarrassment to the firm at some point in the future. Too much risk having these kinds of partners, no matter how much work they can bring in. 3. No hidden agendas! The last kind of person you
See MARK ZWEIG , page 12
THE ZWEIG LETTER APRIL 18, 2022, ISSUE 1437
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