Very few of us can change the world all by ourselves. That’s the price of having a vision that’s large and has a significant impact.

So we work with others along our journey.

I try to capture this concept with the word “partnering.” But that’s not primarily about the legal structure of being Business Partners. That’s totally fine, but only a small fraction of the people you’ll need to work with.

The larger definition of partnering is: cooperating with others who help you achieve your goals. That includes your employees, sales and marketing channels, suppliers, even regulators. Even when you don’t always describe a relationship as “cooperating.”

The key concept here is shared goals. You and I each have our own goals, but in the area of cooperation, we’re each working toward some common ones. It might be as simple as:

  • I want to sell you my products.
  • You want the products I can provide.
  • We both desire a relationship longer than a single transaction.
  • I want you to be happy with my products.
  • You want to be happy with my products.

Even in this simple case, we have lots of common interests and overlapping goals!

I like using the partnering term because it naturally implies a cooperative relationship. It’s a win-win paradigm, even in situations where you and I might be competing in other areas.

Where could this thinking help you to create more productive and powerful relationships?