“When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colors in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.” — Ben Harper
They say that, “variety is the spice of life.” I believe that this is particularly true in leadership. One opinion; one way of doing things; decisions based on the experience of one person, these can all spell disaster for your leadership. So, here are some of the reasons that your leadership should be a partnership.
You don’t know it all
I don’t care how educated you are or how long you’ve been in the business; you don’t know it all! Thinking you know it all will eventually lead to your downfall. But, when you view your leadership as a partnership you can benefit from the experience and knowledge of employees, suppliers, and even clients.
You can’t do it all
I don’t care how efficient you are or how well you think you can multitask; you can’t do it all! When you try to do it all, you eventually become the single point of failure. But, when you partner with others you create a team of qualified individuals who you can depend on to get the job done.
Co-creation is superior
There have been very few times where the ideas, products, and innovation of a single individual have been better than those developed by a team of individuals working together. Since you can’t know everything, and you can’t do everything, it follows logically that you can’t create everything by yourself either. You may have some great ideas, but so might your colleagues. So, why not partner and co-create something superior?
Respect and trust
When you partner with your employees, customers, and suppliers, you show that you respect and trust them. And, guess what? You will never gain their respect and trust until you give it first. When you partner with others you send the message that you value their knowledge and experience and that you see them as your equals. This is the behavior that builds the respectful, trusting relationships that allow you to succeed as a leader.
I can say with a fair amount of confidence that you will never succeed alone. It takes the support of a group of people to accomplish anything worth accomplishing. Yes, you could treat your people as employees, dictating the work to be done but, true success comes from developing partnerships. You see, partnerships are mutually beneficial, not one sided; everyone wins. So, stop leading and start partnering.
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