After viewing our story on Iyanla, Fix My Life, many women have told us about their own failed partnerships and collaborations. Here, then, are six tips and tough lessons that may help you to sabotage your partnership--or convince you to reassess your situation and fly right!
1. 1. Don’t establish leadership and assigned roles; just go with the flow. The all for one and one for all approach works! NOT. Leadership, vision statement and assigned roles will cut down on the madness, to a degree. (Regretfully, there will always be power struggles within a group of entrepreneurs, so be respectful when confronted with adversity. Be aware of saboteurs that wish to derail morale to pursue a personal agenda. More on that later.)
2. 2. Send group emails for convenience. Send personal emails to each particular member when you require honest feedback; send group emails when you want to read a staggering display of personal platforms and soapboxes.
3. 3. Expect the same level of participation. Just know in your heart that everyone is working just as hard as you are. NOT. Some members of the group will support the group’s success 100 percent and will offer their skills, resources, and availability. Others will participate with their fingertips on social media. Still others won’t participate at all, unless money is involved. Know this; identify who’s on the team, what roles they can handle and move forward accordingly.
4. 4. Mix friendship and business. Friends make the best business partners because they will respect your business ethic and will work hard to meet deadlines. NOT. It’s understandable to want to partner with friends, but it could be a dangerous thing to do. Friends will always put you in the friend category, and thus, they are not motivated (or wired) to work with you or produce for the team. Instead, you may want to join professional groups with similar interests on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Great partnerships are known to bloom when personal relationships and friendships are not an issue.
5. 5. Gossip. Gossip your butt off! Business partners love it! NOT.If you can’t control your tongue about others, keep the social interaction to a minimum in real life and online. Gossip will sour the team spirit of the group and once that happens there’s nothing you can do to bring the team spirit back.
6. 6. Share your great ideas—even if great ideas are NOT shared with you. NOT. One-way sharing sucks. One person introduces an idea, and those who know exactly how to bring it to fruition sit on their hands. The great idea dies without implementation or reemerges in a solo project. In the article When Collaborations Go Bad, Florence Green, Vice President, of the Ideacore Network, describes her assessment of a failed collaboration: “The organizational assessment I did for them revealed …that each organization’s board members (80 or so individuals) were participating in the collaboration, but unfortunately, most acted in ways that promoted the narrow interests of their own organization, thus, defeating the original purpose of collaboration.” Yikes.
To recap, like minds, like hearts, like agendas, and like levels of support will net a successful collaboration. A break in the chain of likeminded agendas and actions will result in one big mess.
Did I miss anything? Holler back! :0)