Why it is hard

Partnership is not easy. There are three challenges that many novices fear.  Here is what practitioners say about each.

 

1. What if decision-making is slow or inconsistent?

Partnership allows you to divide and conquer on many decisions, which makes decision-making faster. Dialogue improves the quality of difficult decisions up front, so they don’t need to be revisited later. You don’t have to get stuck when you disagree. Tie-breaking authority can always be assigned to one side.

2. Wouldn’t there be less accountability for results?

Partners define a plan and a process that works for them, and then use positive peer pressure to create daily accountability to execute. They can be held jointly accountable for shared results. This increases accountability relative to the solo model, which creates single points of dependency and relies too much on weekly or monthly meetings.

3. Wouldn’t a second leader add unnecessary cost?

You can always design the partnership to reflect where the value is, whether it is reducing strategic or execution errors, increasing productivity and adaptability, reducing dependence on particular individuals, and/or reducing burn-out and attrition. For most high-stakes leadership roles, the benefits far exceed the costs.