Life is filled with a series of partnerships. And while they may vary in scope, length, and intensity, each has the opportunity to be meaningful. Whether it is a personal partnership between family, friends, or lovers, or a professional relationship between business partners, companies and customers, or businesses and vendors, you should choose your partnerships based on a series of standards to which you hold yourself accountable.

Most sturdy partnerships are built of a series of shared characteristics. To begin, there needs to be a shared vision. There should also be an agreed upon process for pursuing goals. Each partner should have a defined and respected role. Responsibilities and rewards should be proportionate. And effort and energy should be reciprocated. With a clearly articulated framework and an open line of communication, the foundational components of a healthy partnership can be nurtured and long-lasting.

Here are 10 tips to creating great partnerships:

  1. Know yourself first. Make sure you have a clear understanding of who you are, what you have to offer, and what you want before engaging others. This does not mean there is no room for compromise. It just means you need to know what your non-negotiables are and stick to them.
  2. Have the tough conversations up front. Whether it is a personal relationship or a professional relationship, there are subjects we tend to shy away from because they are uncomfortable. But if you are unwilling to have these conversations at the onset, just think about how much harder it may be to have them when you are deeply vested.
  3. Ensure common goals and practices. There are a lot of ways to do things to end up at the same place. But some simply do not mesh well. It is important that you and your partner(s) have common goals and common practices on how to accomplish those goals.
  4. Look for counter balance. Your partner does not need to be a mirror image of you nor do you need to agree on everything. Great partners respect, embrace, and encourage each other’s differences as they pursue a shared vision.
  5. Ignore the honeymoon and allow for a trial period. There is no need to jump into any partnership without feeling things out. Take small steps and get to know one another. A healthy partnership can last decades, so taking a few weeks or months to ensure it is a good match will pay dividends.
  6. Don’t settle. We often try to talk ourselves into a partnership when we know it is not a good fit because of need or fear. Trust that the right partner is out there and do not choose one out of convenience or timing.
  7. Share the risk and reward. In a great partnership, both parties have something to risk and something to gain. If this mutuality does not exist, there is an imbalance from the onset that will likely create resentment.
  8. Listen to those you trust. Truly valuable confidants tell us what we need to hear, not what we want to hear. If someone you truly trust is raising a red flag, set your emotions aside and give their feedback the respect it deserves. Remember, they have your happiness and success in mind.
  9. Be committed. Once you enter a partnership, loyalty and commitment are keys. If both parties are living up to their responsibilities, then it is up to you to work through any challenges.
  10. Deliver and expect excellence. For those of you who have read other articles from me or who are familiar with my book, The BUILD Framework®, you know that I strongly believe that delivering excellence is a fundamental principle in personal and professional success. If you hold yourself to a standard of excellence, it will attract the right partners, employees, and customers.

Ultimately, you should choose your partnerships based on what you have to offer as much or more than what the other person has to offer. By holding yourself to a high standard of contribution and value, you will inevitably attract the same from others.

John Peitzman (JP) is a Certified High Performance Coach™, professional speaker, Best-Selling author, and creator of The BUILD Framework®: A Heart-Based System for Personal and Professional Growth. He has served over 20 years in the corporate environment as an executive – which has included running global operations for multi-nationals, leading thousands, working with the FBI and Secret Service, and managing budgets in excess of $100 million. He is a distinguished meditation teacher and 5th Degree Black Belt martial arts Head Instructor. JP leverages his broad background and experience to clearly articulate to his clients around the world how to successfully integrate ancient techniques such as meditation and proven business methodologies, along with high-performance concepts, habits, and practices into their lives to obtain their next level of excellence and success. For more information, visit

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