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Join those sharing a common purpose

Life is all about partnerships: Be it between spouses, friends or even business associates. Many relationships work, and many don’t. So what is it that differentiates a successful partnership from the unsuccessful ones?

Chanakya gives a very clear idea about the same. He says it’s the ‘common purpose’: “Being not restricted as to place and time and because of having a common purpose, allied troops are better than alien troops” (9.2.17)

Look into your own life, and you will find the above verse to be very true. Whenever a partnership offer comes to you, always think about the possibilities of failure before you strike a deal. Have an open discussion to identify what is possible and what is not possible.

Now, without much experience, how does one decide whether a particular partnership will work well or not? Here are some thoughts you can dwell on before tying the ‘knot’:

As you are selling your ideas, also listen to the ideas of the person in front of you. Keep looking at the common objectives at a strategic level.

Define your purpose

First things first: What do you want in life? What are your core values, your purpose, your goals and objectives, your vision, your life’s mission? All these are very important parameters with which an individual operates. If, as an individual, you are not clear about these areas, then you are only confusing yourself and you will end up confusing even those who come to you. So define these areas well and have a roadmap to achieve the targets. If you have never done this exercise, take a pen and write down your purpose in life now. It will give you a tremendous focus.

Have an open discussion

Once you are clear about what you want, it becomes easy to discuss your goals and objectives with another person. Have an open discussion. As you are selling your ideas, also listen to the ideas of the person in front of you. Keep looking at the common objectives at a strategic level. If you find that there are areas that are common between the two of you, then there’s scope for further discussion.

Give time to each other

Before you sign the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding), give yourself sometime. Think things through. Look at all the things that can possibly go wrong, as well as all those things that can go right. Be realistic. Have a long term view.

Now, before you finally take things forward, comes the most important part: If at the end of all this you still feel that the deal is not workable, be unemotional and be ready to walk out. An initial uncomfortable feeling is better than a life-long suffering.

In management, the most important thing is what you do ‘not’ do rather than what you ‘do’. So strike the right chord and have a wonderful partnership.

Dr Radhakrishnan Pillai is an Indian management thinker, author, and Founder of Atma Darshan and Chanakya Aanvikshiki. Dr Pillai has extensively researched Kautilya’s Arthashastra, the 3rd century BC treatise and incorporated it into modern management.


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