McBride for Business Blog

Different People, Different Strengths

June 21, 2017 // R. Shawn McBride // No Comments »

Remember those group projects in high school where one student likely did most of the research, and one insisted on designing the tri-fold display poster just-so, and one didn’t do much at all? How was the teacher to grade? We have a version of that in the business world: Bringing together partnerships.

We’ve talked a lot about partnerships in our blogs and our writings. Regardless of the nature of the partnership, one thing is apparent: Different people make different contributions.

Sometimes the differences are in fundamental areas such as skill sets and capital contributions. But even among partners with similar skills and equal capital contributions, each brings different things to the table. And that’s great.

That’s one of the reasons we form partnerships.

We want to bring together people with different skills, different ideas, and different abilities. We want to celebrate those different contributions.

But we also want to build an agreement that’s fair, that works in light of those different contributions.

What are the values of those contributions? How should each partner be compensated? It’s not uncommon for a partner who contributed capital to get a preferred payment, but if a partner has special skills, that also deserves compensation.

The key is to discuss the different contributions up front. What is each partner doing to make the business better? How will the partners make everything work together?

If we understand that people have different contributions and different ways of doing things, we can make things work better. We simply have to be realistic about it from the beginning.

What’s your experience? Have you worked in partnerships with differential contributions? How have you worked through the issues? What will you do in the future? Join us in the comments below and let us know your thoughts and experience.

Make sure you download our free checklist to assess your business.  


This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein.  This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique.  Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Sarah joos.


About the Author

R. Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment, gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can email R. Shawn McBride or (214) 418-0258.


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Posted In: Business, Growth, Strategy

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