What Makes a Partnership Successful?

A partnership is exactly like a marriage; if you don’t work on it, the chances of it lasting its first few years are very minimal. There are always highs and lows in a partnership, considering that partners involved are human, and some disagreements are bound to happen. But how do successful partnerships become successful?

Mutual respect within a partnership

To start with, partners need to respect each other, it’s fundamental. If the respect is minimal or non-existent then the chances of the partnership falling apart are very high. You might not be very fond of each other, but if partners want the partnership to work, they will need to put their differences aside, respect each other and work together.

Sharing the same ambition, vision, and passion

What’s the point in starting a partnership if one is more enthusiastic about it than the other? Partners need to have a similar mindset on the task at hand, they need to have passion and ambition to continue with the partnership until success oozes out of their ears. This ambition, vision, and passion will help partners overcome any obstacles they come across.

Different skills of both partners which complement each other

Being in a partnership doesn’t mean that partners need to have the exact same skill set. However, skill sets that differ but match are the best. One partner might be good with writing up contracts and paperwork, whilst the other might be good with managing and has great people skills. Even though these partners have different skills they can combine them by having their own roles, and actually teaching each other. Learning from each other will help in the long run to success.

Supporting each other’s strengths and weaknesses

Being human, we all have our strengths and our weaknesses, which could limit us to what we can achieve. By partners supporting each other and using the limitations to their advantage, it can actually lead to growth and success. Weaknesses worked on, can soon turn into strengths. No matter what the limitations, support is the key.


Communication, communication, and I’ll say it again, communication. The main key that will either break or strengthen the partnership. Every aspect around the partnership involves communication, positive or negative. What's the point in being in a partnership if issues, or goals, or even thoughts about the future of the partnership aren't being discussed? A partnership might come to a point where there might be a bit of friction, parties not agreeing on certain aspects of the business or even stress, but this needs to be dealt with, and a neutral ground needs to be found. Try and communicate as often as possible.

Clear Partner Roles

In a partnership, no two people have the exact same role, again due to a different skill set each person will have a role suited to their strengths, and the same role needs to help each person work on their weaknesses. This role needs to be clear to the parties in the partnership. This is so that not only one partner is under pressure and under stress. The stress and pressures need to be shared between the partners, it wouldn’t be fair if only one partner does all the work, whilst the other partner does the minimal and they both earn the same. The partner roles need to be set right from the start. Further along the line, with good communication, partnership roles can be adjusted or changed.

Goal setting

A partnership is only formed when there is a goal to achieve between the partners. So you’ve formed a partnership, and have set the initial goals and those have been achieved. What’s next? Well obviously setting more goals. In the midst of having a successful partnership, we forget that setting small goals are just as important as big goals. Always set goals, no matter how small or how big, write them down and communicate on how everyone can achieve that goal. Working together will help overcome obstacles, to achieve any goal.

Partnerships which achieved world success

There are some great examples of successful partnerships among big times companies. Google is one of them. The founders of Google; Larry Page and Sergey Brin were students when they first met. In fact, they didn't get along so well and arguments and disagreements among them were common. Yet by overcoming their differences and learning from each other, they built one of the largest multi-million companies.

It's interesting to mention that most of the very well known, successful companies, were established through a partnership. These include Microsoft, Apple, and Twitter too.

Then there are company partnerships such as BMW and Louis Vuitton for the BMW i8 series and a luggage set by Louis Vuitton which is made to fit perfectly into the car's trunk.

Another great example is the Apple and IBM partnership. Apple with its friendly user interface and IBM with its enterprise level computing capabilities joined forces to create a new generation of software and apps for the use of big data and analytics by enterprise clients.

One of the latest successful partnerships is between GlobalVision and Esko. GlobalVision is a leading company in packaging and labeling quality control technologies and Esko (known as Esko Arts) is a graphic arts company that produces prepress software and hardware for packaging and labels.

These two companies decided to work together by having Global Vision’s Quality Control Platform integrated into Esko’s Automation Engine. The integration provides an all-in-one quality assurance solution that runs as a smooth background process. This partnership has provided businesses which rely on their ‘services’, a better, more efficient way, to detect artwork errors, cut costs, and reduce risks.

A final word about partnership success

Beautiful partnerships can be formed, by taking the time to communicate and to consider each other as an equal no matter the differences. In one way or another, partners taking part in a partnership are both interested in succeeding in their mutual goals. So let’s aim for it together and let's set differences aside to create game-changing partnerships of innovation and mutual success.

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