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5 tips for making a good partnership

Feb. 13, 2018
The key element of a successful partnership is trust.

It is getting harder to navigate the trucking industry landscape alone, given the influx of disruptive technologies and changes to traditional business models. Things such as autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, blockchain, last mile delivery, the uberization of freight, etc. are bombarding us and we struggle to keep up with developments in areas that could have significant impact on our businesses.

Now more than ever partnering with the right people is critically important. The right partner can help you navigate the rapidly changing landscape so that you can maintain profitability as the industry undergoes some significant upheavals.

But how do you choose the right partner? Thomas Nestor, founder of Leadership Today, a company specializing in creating learning and development for leaders and organization, had some insights into that subject when he spoke during Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week.

The key element of a successful partnership, according to Nestor, is trust. Trust is something that can only occur when both parties are open and honest with each other. Transparency and visibility are essential elements in the trust building process.

Nestor had some practical tips for making a good partnership.

  1. Talk straight: Your partner should be clear and direct in the language they use when communicating with you. You want the steak here, not the sizzle.
  2. Right wrongs: When your partner makes a mistake, they need to admit it and make things better. If they’ve been a good partner, you should not let one mistake destroy the relationship.
  3. Deliver results: Your partner should do what they told you they would do.
  4. Clarify expectations and verify: Make sure your partner understands what you expect from them and periodically let them know if those expectations are being met and where they need to make improvements.
  5. Keep commitments: These commitments could be around fill rates, service turnaround time, or any other issues that are important to you.

However, you also have to remember that partnerships are two-way streets. Just as you have expectations of your partner, your partner has expectations of you. Ask yourself if you are living up to the same five things you require from your partner? If not, then you need to make some changes so you can become a better partner.

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