Should You Use the Buddy System? Partners Can Prove Lucrative

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Digital Library > Building and Inspiring an Organization > Partnerships"Should You Use the Buddy System? Partners Can Prove Lucrative"

How a dynamic duo enriches both parties and actually propels business, personal growth.

Sherlock Holmes has Dr. Watson. Batman has Robin. Ice cream magnate Ben Cohen has Jerry Greenfield. From pop culture to the entrepreneurial playing field, two heads have repeatedly proven to be better than one.

A partner, either personal or professional, can accelerate your career and your business. Perhaps it's their keen insight. Maybe it's an encouraging word. Regardless, working as a team can make both of you better for it.

A Helping Hand

Novelist Stephen King sent three manuscripts to an editor over a two-year period, only to have all three rejected. Working in a Laundromat at the time, King was married and struggling to make ends meet.

One night King became so distraught that he threw his fourth manuscript into the garbage can. Recovering it the next morning, his wife admonished him for giving up. King got back into the writing groove, averaging about 1,500 words a day, and soon sent the manuscript to an editor.

Sweet Success

Certain that this manuscript would also be rejected, King was surprised by a publishing offer — and a $2,500 advance. The novel, "Carrie," sold 5 million copies and was made into a movie in 1976, which became a box-office smash. Thanks to the wild success of "Carrie," King's previous three manuscripts were published years later, and each then fetched healthy profits.

Teamwork Makes the Difference

By taking the manuscript for "Carrie" out of the garbage, King's wife literally committed an act worth millions of dollars. How's that for a partnership?

Both personally and professionally, partners have achieved some pretty remarkable things: Lenin and Trotsky partnered for social revolution; Lewis and Clark joined forces for geographic exploration. In considering these successful partners and your own aspirations, who do you know who could help you?

In all areas of life, be it small business or elsewhere, sharing your dreams with others often results in an accelerated effect. There's something about having one person to collaborate with who can bring out the best in both of you.

Love/Hate Relationships

Ironically, you don't even have to like each other. Composers Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein frequently feuded and allegedly did not converse with one another — except when working. Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney had numerous spats in an otherwise brilliant musical partnership.

As long as the partners respect the capability or contributions of the other, teams can continue to produce.

The relationships that remain intact are value-for-value relationships, where both parties receive great value and are much better for the arrangement. Liking each other is a bonus.

Writer: Jeff Davidson is the executive director of Breathing Space Institute, located in Chapel Hill, N.C., where he helps people manage information and communication overload. He is a popular professional speaker and the author of "The Joy of Simple Living," Rodale.

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