The credit belongs to the woman who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly. Who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming, but who does actually strive to do the deeds, who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends herself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if she fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that her place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory, nor defeat."
– Teddy Roosevelt (sort of).
There are two sides to every partnership
I first learned of this quote from the great Brené Brown. It is the muse of her book, Daring Greatly, where the major theme is vulnerability.
But every word of this drips with the partner professional's experience.
Partner professionals must be two-sided partners.
The partner side
The first side is the obvious side. The partner side. They are the face of their organization to the outside organization with whom they must build a deep and trusting relationship.
They choose a give-first mentality. They ask how they can be of service. Their yeses are yeses, and their nos are nos; they interact with integrity without expectation, but full of the hope of reciprocity.
They toil and sweat to offer something of value to their partners because they see the value their partners offer them.
The internal side
The second side is the internal side. The sales and marketing, and product side.
This is the side that is often neglected in the whirlwind fulfilling the needs of the first side.
But this side is vital to fulfilling the promises of the first.
The sales, marketing, and product teams are in just as much need of a deeply trusting relationship with the partner team as the partners themselves.
They need to know that the partner team hears them, sees them, is curious about them, and wants to help them succeed.
They too will reciprocate a give first mentality. They too, will reciprocate when the value is clear to them. They too want all ships to rise together when it's obvious that the whole team is working toward the same mission.
Create an environment that fosters a growth-mindset
Enablement isn't just training and content. It's about creating an environment where people can safely change their behavior in order to achieve new outcomes.
Nobody learns anything when they feel unsafe, or unsure.
Part of achieving the partner relationship with internal teams is providing them with this environment. By advocating for their success, you advocate for yours too.
Jessie Shipman is the CEO and Co-Founder of Fluincy, a Sales Enablement Software for Partnerships. She has a background in education and learning theory and spent 4 years building and delivering partner enablement strategy for Apple's top partnerships before building Fluincy.