Secret Behind Successful Partnerships

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:-

  1. He is conservative, she is liberated.
  2. He is modern, she is orthodox.
  3. Their family backgrounds are different.
  4. Their educational backgrounds are different.
  5. Their financial status is different.
  6. They belong to different cultures.
  7. His company did not recognize his worth.
  8. 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.


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