The Leadership Cookbook: Three Rules That Create a Great Partnership

It’s great to have a partner until it’s not. There are dozens of actions you and I can take to make our journey as a partner easier. Here’s my top three list to create a great experience:

Rule One: Define Our Work Values (and use ‘em)

Enrique had opened his first restaurant five years earlier. He’d hit a home run, paid his bills, and grown a great team. He had enough money saved to get financing and open his second restaurant.  

Part of the fun in his success was his brother Justin had worked with him the whole time; first as a team member then, as a manager. In the same period, Enrique became a brother-in-law and an uncle.  

As Enrique got ready to pull the trigger on his new deal, it was time to give his brother, now a family man, a shot at ownership. Enrique offered Justin 20% in sweat equity, with no cash.  With this benevolent, simple deal, Enrique figured he’d maintain control and he’d stay in their original restaurant. Justin would run daily business at the new site. Enrique was happy as Justin shared his excitement and commitment, “All this, I’ll never let you down, we’re brothers!”

The brothers worked hard to maintain the quality of their existing restaurant, each day brought the new one closer to opening. Design, menu, service, production was easy to talk about; even the numbers were pretty simple, all the more because they were brothers. This wasn’t the case about work values and decision-making. The assumption for both was they knew the other.  More so, both assumed values attached to decision-making were obvious.