A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of catching Jay-Z’s live streamed performance at the newly minted Barclays centre in Brooklyn. The concert itself blew me away. It was the celebration of a hustler, artist and entrepreneur realizing his dream. What made the concert so impactful was the look of genuine joy on Jay-Z’s face. It was the happiness you see when a kid wakes up on Christmas morning. There was no more anticipation, worry or work. His decade old dream was now real.
But as the entire borough of Brooklyn had their eyes on him, there was one set of eyes that beamed prouder than any others. His partner. As cheesy as it may sound, Beyonce joining him on stage for final performance and the two of them walking out together highlighted a universal truth – the importance of a great partner.
WHY YOU NEED A PARTNER
There are different partners for different elements of your life. You can have a partner in business, in creativity, on the sports field, in life and in love. If you’re lucky, you may find all of those things in one person. But the role of a good partner is the same – it’s to make you better.
The best partners allow you to elevate your game. They’re a person who will allow you to slice through the defence with a no-look pass. They’re a creative sounding board to bounce ideas off of. They’re a critic that will call you out on your bullshit when everyone is too polite to do so. They’re the person standing there, holding your hand when you’re about to leap into the unknown. They’re the one who is genuinely excited for you to realize your dream.
All of this – honest feedback, support, trust and unspoken understanding – is what raises your game. It pushes you past limits of what you can achieve on your own. The right partnership can turn you from good to great. And we all want to be great.
WHAT MAKES A GREAT PARTNER
Finding the right partner is challenging. The reason being is that everyone’s perfect partner is different. It’s not about checking off a list of specific qualities. Every person needs something different. The key to a successful partnership is that they complement your style and personality. In the words of Jerry Maguire they “complete you.” Often, it’s not about finding someone who is exactly the same as you. It’s about partnering with someone who has the talent that addresses your blind spots.
But as I mentioned, this is different for everyone. Each person has different blind spots and different needs in a partnership. The most important criteria for a partner is that they make you better. They don’t drag you down. You are a better athlete, creative or person when you’re with them. They bring a positive energy that allows you to exceed your personal potential. Choose the right partner and life can be awesome. Choose the wrong one and you’ll spend too much time worrying about the partnership instead of enjoying life.
IN THE END …
The benefits of a great partner are simple. You produce better work. You are more productive on the field. You accomplish more in life. You are happier with the time that you’re spending together. In the simplest form, a good partnership elevates your game.
The support, the honesty, the inspiration and the motivation that they provide puts you in a better mindset. The better mindset produces a better lifestyle. The best part? Once you’ve achieved those goals, you have someone to share a beer with.