How to avoid picking the wrong business partner
The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question: What do you look for in the ideal business partner? is written by Ryan Harwood, CEO of PureWow.
As a former tennis player, the saying goes, “the most important part of doubles is choosing your partner.” The same goes for choosing a business partner.
Needless to say, you should compliment each other in terms of skillset and expertise. But besides for the obvious complimentary skills, you simply need to enjoy being with this person. And not just co-exist, but also become better people when together. Do you get good vibes? Do you inspire each other? Do you want to see each other succeed?
There is no better feeling than knowing that your partner has your back at every turn. This frees up time for you to focus on the important things that only you can do to drive the business forward. It’s for this reason that I would choose a slightly less talented business partner if our chemistry was through the roof. (Note: if my business partners are reading this, it’s just a hypothetical situation. You’re all uber talented. Now, get back to work.)
And this isn’t just necessary for your own happiness, it’s vital for the business, too. The types of bonds at the executive level have the power to create passion and loyalty from the surrounding team. If there is dissension at the top, it’s only a matter of time before the house falls.
So how do you identify the right person? Ask yourself: Are you truly excited to be working hand in hand with this person? Are you beyond proud to introduce that person to your friends and colleagues? A successful relationship with your business partner is a sign of stability to the entire company. All tides rise when chemistry is strong, respect is high and trust is without fail.
Read all responses to the Leadership Insider question: What do you look for in the ideal business partner?
The most important relationship you will make in your career by Nirav Tolia, CEO of Nextdoor.