Monday, February 13, 2012

CHOOSING GOOD PARTNERS: IN BUSINESS, IN LIFE AND IN LOVE By Dartesia Pitts


No man or woman is an island! We all need people. Anyone who says they don’t isn’t telling you the truth. In businesses, families and friend circles, we depend upon and share in the brilliance of others. We can not get through this life without other people. Period. To be honest, it would be a boring life even if we tried.
Every smart and successful business person has a great team of people around them in which they consult and build. They may call these people friends, advisors, partners, board members, and sometimes spouses. For the purposes of this blog, we will refer to them all and deal with them as “partners”.
When building successful business ventures, there are certain qualities your partners should demonstrate to secure the success of your business. Who you choose to partner with is the first, major and most important decision you will make for any business venture. Are you wondering about signing that new commercial lease with your long time friend? Are you considering a project with that ‘fast-talking’ colleague? Who will serve as a good board member for your new non-profit? Will the new guy / girl you are dating make a good spouse (in the spirit of Valentine’s Day ;-))? To help with selecting a good partner, see if your potentials meet DAP Legal’s Partner Requirement Checklist.
DAP Legal’s Partner Requirement Checklist
ü Are they loyal? – Quite simply, loyalty is the foundation of any great partnership. At all times, your partner should act in the best interest of the business and the partners. They must place the business of the partnership before everyone including his or her own. This would include them recognizing conflicts of interest and properly extinguishing those conflicts when they exist. If loyalty is not present, then a partnership does not exist.

ü Are they obedient? – Obedience is not always a bad word. Do they have a “get it done” attitude? For guaranteed success, you need a partner that can become humble and serve the needs of the business promptly and efficiently.

ü Do they fully disclose? – No one likes to be the last to know! Your partner must fully disclose any important and relevant information known pertaining to the business of the partnership. Your partner should tell the truth and tell it all!! Withholding such information from the partnership can totally kill the business.

ü Do they honor confidentiality? – Loose lips sinks ships! To protect the integrity of the business, your partner must safeguard and keep secrets of the partnership confidential. Sharing confidential information reveals vulnerabilities (or trade secret strengths) about the business that could either kill the business or overly expose it to many different liabilities.

ü Do they exhibit reasonable care and diligence? – You want your partner to act thoroughly and resourcefully when conducting business for the partnership. If your partner does not know the answer, then you want them to figure it out. If your partner can not provide a necessary service for the business, then you want them to find a professional that can. You want smart and informed partners on your team that are able to make good decisions.

ü Will they provide you an accurate accounting? – Last but not least, you must be able to trust your partner around money and valuables belonging to the partnership. You are in business to make a profit. You do not want partners on your team that are bad with money or who can’t be trusted with the valuables.

Now that you have finished going through this list, go back through again and make sure that you meet these requirements as well. Will you be a good partner?
On the legal side of it all, partners, board members, executive officers and spouses may suffer legal consequences if any of these above duties are breached. So, let’s avoid the big legal mess later and properly vet the people you get involved with in your business ventures. Whether it’s a multi-million dollar joint venture or a justice of the peace marital union, make sure you know whom you are getting into bed with… literally and figuratively.

Oh…. And it never hurts to have this understanding in writing. ;-)

Learn more about Dartesia A. Pitts at DAPLegal.com

4 comments:

  1. This blog regarding the importance of relationships and the Partner Requirement Checklist offered by Attorney Pitts is a great read! The report is full of wisdom that I will definitely utilize in all of my relationships.

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  2. Awesome article Dottie! You are so on point.

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  3. Great article and key points to look at!

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  4. Thank you for reading and commenting! It's much appreciated!!

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