One of the most difficult things about support-raising is keeping an accurate picture of how real partnership looks. It’s very tempting to see partnership as transaction – where you are simply a link between a “customer” and the goal/product. However, real partnership is actually a triangle of interdependency. In this version the leadership, partners, and the goal all have a relationship with one another. In fact, I believe the healthiest partnerships maintain an equal balance of each of these players.
So as a leader inviting partners to join your effort, it’s never simply an invitation for them to give you resources in order for you to do something. Always remember it’s the goal you’re both working together to achieve that motivates and sustains real partnership.
What has been helpful for you in keeping the goal as the focus of communication with partners?