- They're Smart: In the universe of customers, partners and investors, there are smart partners, who make you better by asking the right questions, pushing the right outcomes, and opening your eyes to the big picture; and those that don't. To be clear, this isn't about IQ; it's about Contextual Intelligence.
- They're Strategically Aligned: Strategy is all about where you want to get to at the end of the day. Is the partner striving to get to a place that you specifically want to go? Are they taking complementary vehicles to get there?
- They have Skin in the Game: There is a great axiom about chickens and pigs. In terms of putting food on the table, both the chicken and the pig can get the job done. But there is a fundamental difference in their level of commitment. The chicken (hen) is merely engaged when it lays an egg. But the pig is truly committed, as it has real skin in the game in serving up its bacon. Moral of the story? Look for partners with real skin in the game. They are less likely to go AWOL or randomly change directions on you at the most inopportune times.