There is a wonderful scene in the classic film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid where the duo are faced with almost certain death at the hands of the pursuing posse or an uncertain future by jumping off the cliff they are stranded on and into a river below. The Sundance Kid says he’d like to stand and fight, when pushed on this suicidal decision he announces that he can’t swim and doesn’t fancy jumping into the river. Butch Cassidy, after pointing out the insanity of that course of action, convinces him that their only hope of survival is if both them jump. Eventually, the two literally take the plunge together. They survive, escape and live to fight another day.
Strong partnerships simply make life easier. From a business perspective we’ve been very lucky as Levy McCallum have been a partnership since day one. Two people with very different but complementary skills, personalities and styles but with a common purpose built our business. That has involved a large element of trust, honesty, reliance and, at times, discussion and compromise. It’s the same with clients. We have some clients who, we are very proud to say, we can measure their time with us in decades. We value partnerships; we understand how they work, and when and why they sometimes don’t. Without clearly defined roles, openness and trust, hard work and skill and shared success or indeed failure, partnerships are doomed to failure. Many businesses talk of partnerships, but I wonder how many can genuinely say they have real partnerships with their clients.
Trusting the advice of a partner and taking it, sometimes against your own judgement, makes you stronger not weaker. Successful partnerships sometimes require a leap of faith, even if you can’t swim, because the posse that pursues all of us in business is incentivised not to give up and if you can’t stay one step ahead of them the future doesn’t look so bright.
All that being said if your ‘partner’ ever recommends robbing mule trains in Bolivia overrule them.