Finding a Business Partner: Take the Quiz


My wife came across an interesting quiz on the NY Times' website.

Called the "The Sustainable-Marriage Quiz," it poses 10 simple questions which assess the strength of your relationship with someone.

Importantly, while I think this is a valuable quiz for your personal life, there is definitely a key place for this in your business.

Mainly, you should take this quiz BEFORE taking on a business partner, investor or key employee.

The quiz was developed by Gary W. Lewandowski Jr., associate psychology professor at Monmouth University in New Jersey. You can see the quiz on the NY Times website here.

A copy of it is below:

Partner Quiz

As you can see from the questions, virtually all of the marriage partner questions apply to business partners.

Importantly, the ideal partner (business or personal), according to Lewandowski's research:

* Gives you greater awareness
* Increases your ability to accomplish new things
* Allows you to expand your own capabilities
* Has strengths that compensate for some of your own weaknesses
* Gives you better perspective on things
* Allows you to learn new things
* Increases your knowledge
* Makes you a better person

Clearly all these things can lead to a more successful business. So use this quiz in judging new business relationships you are considering...or as an impetus to get out of a bad relationship you might already be in.

As many of you know, Jay Turo and I have been partners in Growthink since we launched in 1999. I just took the quiz with Jay in mind and scored a 62 which means that it's a great partnership.

Take the quiz and let me know your thoughts on it in the Comments section below.

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Posted at 5:50 am
Lawrence Gilbert says

Hmm, interesting. When we look at business partnerships normally it is phrased in "are there complementary skills", maybe we should add in the effect of a business partner on expanding our personal abilities also. Good point I think.
Posted at 7:29 pm
Marvin E Jordan Jr says

This reminded me of a book on dating published by BYU Press with Professor Brent Yorgasson as one of the authors (I think that was the right name--forgive me this was 25 years ago). He was in the psychology and family relations departments. The book referenced a study on marital compatibility that had been done not long before. The study results formed a matrix with the horizontal axiz measuring the depth of agreement, similarity, and compatibility, on a scale of one to ten. The vertical axis identified four key areas of consideration. The topmost area, which was also the most important in predictive value for enduring marriage, was a set of factors which might be called 'core values': religious beliefs, child rearing standards, money handling attitudes and spending habits, political beliefs, attitudes about character and what makes a person valuable, how we should behave towards one another,and the like. What is worth our time and treasure, and, what is worth dying for or fighting about. The second box was seen as highly desirable to be compatible, but with some flexibility for compromise: where do we live, what kind of house, lifestyle standards, job and career, and so on. Stuff that can make life exalting or a daily grind. The third box was seen as really nice but frosting on the cake stuff like: shared hobbies and interests, alma mater, sports teams and movie stars and what kind of movies and books one likes. The fourth box was the kind of stuff that really shouldn't matter (but an amazing number of immature people get hungup about) like: your favorite color, or favorite foods. I figure the single most important factor is the capacity to place the welfare of somebody else ahead of your own short term interests and the ability, and determination, to commit. No relationship ever survived if one of the parties begins to think that they themselves are more important than 'us'.
Posted at 8:48 am

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