Friday, November 18, 2011

the secret to a successful partnership

the conversation went like this...
I've never wanted children...but she I'm thinking, well, perhaps I could be persuaded

the proposal went like this...
marriage is really important to me...i know you're kind of would you do it for me?

the partnership went like this...
i think this is a really good idea and we should steer the business in this direction.  i know you're not super enthusiastic about it, but if you're comfortable with me driving it, let's go ahead with it

In watching many many business partnerships develop, grow, and often disintegrate, and similarly seen way too many marriages fail, I started thinking about what might have lead to such breakdowns.

The problems seem to come when a big decision (like having a child, or investing in a new business idea) is not shared in equal amounts of enthusiasm.  The minute things get difficult it is all to easy to start a blame game (your idea your responsibility) or when things are more successful that envisioned for one to take the kudos.

I am convinced that the secret to success in a joint venture of any kind,  whatever that success is, or looks like, is that both parties must be completely in agreement on direction.  Yes, sometimes one will lead the way, or need to present a pretty convincing argument in order to win over the other...But at the end of the day, unless both people are committed to the same outcome, it''s just asking for trouble.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

spoiled for choice

I recently started a new job and one of my first tasks was to organise a cocktail party with an expected guest list of 150.
The party is tomorrow night and RSVPs are still trickling in.

I guess it's possibly because people are not particularly interested in it...but I suspect it's more likely that they are leaving it until the last minute to reply, just in case something better comes up.

A friend organised a party for a dozen or so people...on the night, all but one cancelled.

I have so often organised an event and not had people confirm their attendance until the very last minute.

It seems to be indicative of our society.  We have so much choice, so much immediacy of information (remember the days when one would phone a week ahead at least to confirm something!) - I think it is turning us into a bad mannered and selfish world.

It seems to stretch to relationships (see the serial dater), careers (few people stay in the same career for a life time), hobbies and interests - we do lots but rarely commit to something for more than a short time.  Or we will happily give something up in favour of a better opportunity and to heck with commitment or just giving our word.

Have you ever been dumped for a better offer?   Ever ditched a friend or an event because something more exciting came up?


Wednesday, November 02, 2011


The little engineer loves to garden.  At the moment I have a bucket mushrooms growing in the bottom of the hot water avocado seed and pumpkin seeds drying in anticipation of a bumper crop, and he is currently outside with the dancing queen putting in giant sunflower seeds in random places around the garden.

When the dancing queen brought me in a beautiful daffodil from the garden he did not marvel - but growled her vociferously for picking ''his'flowers that HE planted!

I am not a great gardener, choosing to have an adequate vegetable garden and little more - plenty of fruit trees to be sure but not a whole lot else.  I like the idea of gardening far more than the reality of weeding, mulching and digging.  The dancing queen is one for instant results and tends to choose fast growing lettuce and herbs.

But at only 5, the engineer seems to have found a passion.  And he gets us much pleasure from picking as from growing - happily spending hours shelling peas and beans or pulling weeds.  I love that he chooses interesting plants - this week heritage tomatoes from the farmers market, and a snow pea.  And he loves to eat the fruits (or is that vegetables...) of his labours.  I can only hope that this will become a lifelong pleasure.