The Secret Behind Successful Partnerships
Madhuri Dixit-Nene in one of her recent interviews to Times of India, made a very striking statement. She says: “In Partnerships, 2 people can be as different as chalk & cheese – but they should want the same things in life; that makes for a successful partnership.”
This otherwise simple statement changed my perspective. It changed my perspective to understanding my own partnerships in life & all the other thousand-odd partnerships that we see around us every day.
And I would like the term “partnership” to include a broad spectrum of equations beginning with obvious matrimony & committed partnerships – to parents, siblings, friends, employers- employees, teachers-students, country-citizens etc.
Basically, anything & everything, anywhere & everywhere, where 2 or more individuals come together with a common purpose. That perhaps IS the definition of a partnership – “common purpose”.
Partnerships are not about being similar or different. You can be as similar as 2 peas in a pod, or you can be as different as chalk & cheese.
However different or similar 2 people may be –> if they want the same things in life –> a partnership is made –> a success story.
However different or similar 2 people may be –> if they want different things in life –> a partnership is broken –> an obituary.
This simple philosophy is often missed out by us when we dissect our partnerships, or when we analyze those around us. How many times do we find ourselves saying:-
- He is conservative, she is liberated.
- He is modern, she is orthodox.
- Their family backgrounds are different.
- Their educational backgrounds are different.
- Their financial status is different.
- They belong to different cultures.
- His company did not recognize his worth.
- This country is not fit for people to live in.
We make & break partnerships very quickly with our analyses. We are quick to write success stories & obituaries.
BUT instead of analyzing INDIVIDUALS, if we analyzed their respective WISH LIST in life, we would come to a more matured, non-judgmental conclusion about ourselves & others.
This perspective takes away the guilt & blame from any one-half of a partnership, when we write obituaries. No one can be labeled right or wrong. It is just 2 halves who have different visions, and somewhere they haven’t been able to find a mid-path. Each believes in his/her own vision. Each has a right to follow their guiding star. This perspective also refuses to crown any one-half of a partnership with laurels, when we script success stories. It is just 2 halves who have a common vision. 2 people with a common vision can actualize that vision in half the time. As simple as that.
- If 2 people, however similar or different, sit down across a table & open ALL their cards about what they TRULY wish for in life – they can bring about a matching & make things work, or walk away amicably if they can’t. The positive result of this exercise can be: lasting marriages, lifelong friendships, fulfilling careers, excellent governance – because both sides of a partnership have a common purpose.
- This “common purpose” perhaps explains the success ratio of traditional Indian marriages. Even if there is no meeting point in the original wish list, one partner usually modifies his/her vision to match the other. Result = common purpose.
- So my advice to all those, whose children are on the threshold of various partnerships – be it commitments, marriage, educational options, career choices, etc. – teach them to look BEYOND similarities & differences; teach them to RECOGNISE their own wish list; teach them to ASK for the wish list of their partners.
Partnerships are like rivers. If the rivers choose to flow separately & define their own individual course – that too is ok. If the rivers choose to come together in a confluence – all differences & similarities will merge into one.