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10 Qualities I’d Look for in a Business Partner

symbiosis_iStock_smallerHere are 10 qualities I’d look for in a future business partner:

  1. Integrity. The whole truth, not just the good news. Actually I want to know the bad news instantly; and the good news can wait. I want to work with people who never make me wonder what they are thinking or what they mean. Trustworthy is essential.
  2. The kind of intelligence that respects uncertainty and not knowing. People who know things that they are sure of are often not realizing the other side of the question. I want to work with people who respect research and data but use it to spark discussion, not end it.
  3. Somebody from whom I can learn. I want somebody different from me, with different background and experience, coming from different, not sameness. Let our resources be more when we’re combined than they are when we’re separate. That takes diversity.
  4. Somebody who likes learning. I want an open mind. I want somebody who can change their mind, listen to other opinions, and be comfortable changing views when things change or they encounter new evidence.
  5. Somebody who knows what they don’t know.
  6. Somebody who questions best practices.
  7. Somebody who doesn’t think anything is true just because a lot of people say it is true.
  8. Somebody who can dive into crunch times and work like mad, but who also understands that it’s not always crunch times.
  9. I like education. I think it opens people up to lifetime learning. I don’t like it when people evaluate education by correlation to earning power. I like people who like ideas, know how to listen. I think things like college degrees mean somebody has buckled down and done something hard for several years.
  10. I want somebody who can take the harder route when that makes sense, and doesn’t back down from something hard just because it’s hard.



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