So after my last blog about the power of perception, I thought I would share with you another powerful maxim that I have always implemented  into the culture of my businesses as they grow and I have solid proof of how true partnerships can increase your performance in business more than many other aspects that people seem to concentrate on primarily.

BY JASON GRAYSTONE

That powerful thing is ‘seeing’ everyone who touches your business as a partner, which is a radical shift from short sighted, short-term behaviour towards long-term success for everyone involved.

See your team as your partners, your suppliers as partners, and even your customers as partners.  Instead of focusing solely on your own success take the extra time to explore what success looks like for everyone involved.  I try very hard to create a deeper alignment in the needs and wants of everyone who’s interacting with my business.  You should do the same… trust me, IT WORKS.

Don’t look at your business as an independent entity that can survive all by itself.  Instead, try to see your business for what it is; a set of relationships that must last and grow together if success is to be achieved.

I’m not saying that you can never disagree with anyone, remove poor performing staff members, or that you can’t switch suppliers if a product or relationship isn’t working out for you.  As well as having the ability to grow and evolve, relationships or ‘partnerships’ can also break down and eventually part ways when there is no longer a mutual alignment.

“That powerful thing is ‘seeing’ everyone who touches your business as a partner, which is a radical shift from short sighted, short-term behaviour towards long-term success for everyone involved”.

Transactional relationships are geared around getting the most out of an exchange in the immediate short term, but the spirit of a good, sustainable and progressive partnership is about working together to create success, both now and in the future, for everyone involved.  That’s why with my businesses we stay close to our suppliers and customers at all times.  Sometimes this means you can’t take an immediate win in the short term, and instead have to look at the bigger picture if the longer term view is beneficial.

When the recession hit in 2008/2009, many big companies saw it as an opportunity to squeeze their suppliers and extend payment terms so they didn’t have to pay them for months after invoices were raised.  In the short term they would definitely win by squeezing their suppliers in this way, but in the long term many suppliers began to suffer financially and even go under.  The knock on effect being that these companies started to look for ways to cut corners and they became sloppy and simply couldn’t produce their best work.

ON the flip-side, in some rare cases, big companies like the British retailer, Waitrose, worked closely with their suppliers to ensure they could still produce the quality products they needed.  They found ways to support their long-term suppliers who were vulnerable to the financial crisis, and as a result, their suppliers found ways to help Waitrose in return.  Their premium price brand has continued to expand despite the recession by using this partnership principal to their own advantage, and that of their suppliers.

“Don’t look at your business as an independent entity that can survive all by itself.  Instead, try to see your business for what it is; a set of relationships that must last and grow together if success is to be achieved.”

The spirit of partnership is a powerful driving force indeed.  It makes us think about the needs of others and work towards creating long-term sustainable success for everyone involved, not just ourselves.

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