Having the right partners can boost your success but ones can drain you and bring you down. Learn how to develop partnerships that will benefit you and contribute to your growth. (Estimated reading time: 4-5 minutes)
“It’s not where you go, it’s who you meet along the way.”— The Wizard of Oz
One of my favorite movies of all time is “The Wizard of Oz”.
The beautiful sets and endearing characters transport viewers into a wonderful world of fantasy and magic.
What I love most about the movie is the life lessons that are embedded in the storyline and the characters. Subtle metaphors are scattered throughout the movie, which all converge into a message of hope and inspiration.
Dorothy sets out into the unknown to find the great Emerald City of Oz (her purpose). The only thing that she has to help her on her journey down the yellow brick road (her life path) is her ruby red slippers (her inner strength and wisdom).
Along the way, she meets the Tin Man, Scarecrow and the Lion (her friends/partners), who decide to accompany her in her quest to find Oz. Even though she has all the power within her, she knew that she needed the support of her new friends to help her find her way.
Just like Dorothy, we too have all the power within us to navigate life’s journey and reach our highest potential. Yet no matter how talented, skilled or attractive we are, we cannot go it alone.
Success is not a one-man journey—each and every one of us needs help to reach our own “Emerald City”. Yet, many people still harbor misconceptions that seeking help from others is a sign of weakness or inadequacy.
Truly confident individuals, however, aren’t ashamed of reaching out to others for support, when they need it. They know that partnering is an essential strategy for success. Having the right people around you can provide the fuel to skyrocket your efforts and see you through challenges.
If you look at any successful person, in any field of life—business, entertainment, sports, academics—you will always find that they are backed up by a great team who help them perform and look their best.
- An athlete will have a coach, trainer, dietitian and physiotherapist.
- A businessman will have an accountant, assistant, sales team, advisors and lawyers.
- An actor will have an acting coach, stylist, a trainer, beauticians and dietitian.
Now you may be thinking, “I can’t afford to hire your own entourage!” The good news is that you don’t have to. All you need is a group of trustworthy people who you can turn to in times of need. This group can include friends, family members and service professionals.
Having the right partners can bolster your success and help you make leaps and bounds in your area of focus. The wrong partners, however, can drain you and bring you down.
The unfortunate reality is that there are plenty of amateurs and predators who can harm us and take advantage of us if given a chance.
That’s why we need to have a clear idea of what we are seeking, and have a well-thought-out selection process, which can help us make the best choice.
Here are some guidelines on how to develop partnerships that maximize your success:
1. Identify the areas of your life where you need support: Take a look at your current priorities—are there blocks or challenges that are preventing you from moving forward? If so, those are the places where partnering with others will help you make progress.
2. Decide how much money you’re willing to invest: There are professionals who charge millions of dollars for their services, and there some who charge hundreds. Which one you hire will depend on your financial capabilities. You could also get help for free by joining support groups, bartering your services, or seeking advice from friends, relatives or co-workers.
3. Figure out what kind of support you’re most responsive to: Some people like to work with partners who have a tough and tell-it-like-it-is approach. Others prefer partners who are diplomatic, nurturing and warm. Some prefer a combination of both. Find out which style brings out the best in you and seek partners who mirror that.
4. Network and research in a big way: To find the right partners, you need to seek credible sources such as word-of-mouth or ratings. In the age of the Internet, it’s much easier to get this information. Do your due diligence of getting as much information as possible before making any decisions.
5. Create a reliable screening process when evaluating others: When evaluating possible candidates, make sure that you consult a combination of two things: the information that you have about them from your research, and more importantly, your gut instinct. Pay attention to any feelings you may have about them because it comes from an instinctive part of you that is capable of discerning things below the surface.
6. Let go of anyone who is bringing you down: In addition to sowing seeds to build a great team, you need to remove the weeds in the soil. Those weeds include anyone who is draining you and trying to bring you down. Dr. Phil McGraw calls these people “baiters” – individuals who will sabotage your success for their personal gain. Identify these people and either let go of them or build boundaries.
No matter how many partners or friends you assemble, you want the end result to be a harmonious flow between each one. With clear objectives, a strong sense of purpose, and a strong team, you can become the perfect maestro, capable of orchestrating melodious symphonies.
All my best on your journey,
Question for you: In which areas of your life do you need help? What kind of partnerships will help you progress in those areas?
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