When it comes to parental responsibility and the repayments of bank loans and personal credit cards, both parents in a household take on equal responsibility under European law.  In practice, the majority of households do just fine with a leadership of two. So why does it seem to be so difficult for some business to handle the concept of joint responsibility when it comes to business units, departments and projects?  If you have the right partnership, two can do the job equally well, if not better than one?  

I am a big believer in down to earth, pragmatic management and it is obviously much simpler (on paper) with only one person responsible. But when one is lucky enough to have a good double act at ones finger tips, then my advice is don’t screw it, promote it. Dynamic duos in business can be refreshing and effective.

I remember an Architectural practice in the UK that had two leading partners, one had a natural gift for sniffing out money and clients while the other had great ideas and was an excellent motivator and manager of the creative team. The combination was electric. Both were equally responsible for the fortunes of the company and its employees. Quite simply, the company would never have been so successful without either one of them.

I, not surprisingly, believe in partnerships, in both my private and business life. The big problem I see in business is that too many people confuse status reporting from responsibility. Don’t rely on only one of the partners for the latest status report but go to the project manager or look in the company’s performance dashboards. They will give you the up to the minute, unbiased details.  When it comes to board room presentations, the best one gives it or, as applicable, it’s a double act.

So the next time you’re looking for a new department head, if there happens to be two people available that work incredibly well together, consider moving them both into the role rather than risking losing them both.

Couples have many advantages, not least being able to see issues from two points of view, increasing empathy and balance in the work place. In addition, however, a duo has the ability to unite in times of difficulty and can benefit from being able to motivate one group of people in different ways. Carrot and stick, good cop, bad cop – whatever is required.

But don’t just take my word for it, ask one of my Partners! 🙂

Have a good week,

Harley