Why partnership is important to leadership

One of the key elements of leadership is partnership. Not everyone would agree with this; you could argue that, in the presence of a powerful leader, partnership is unnecessary – you will get the job done with or without the involvement of others.

But in today’s organisations, this is not enough. You might achieve the result, but at what cost? If you don’t involve others, you leave them disempowered and demotivated. You don’t train them in how to produce results. Your organisation is the poorer, and if you leave, your knowledge and skill leaves too.

There is a difference between what people normally call ‘partnership’ and the partnership which could exist in a team, or an organisation, of people working together. How would it be if you and everyone else in your team came to work committed to ensuring one other’s success?

What is Partnership?

We define partnership as: ‘holding oneself to account for the success of each member of the team’. Importantly, many organisations these days are moving to a matrix structure, where it’s increasingly difficult for any one person to get the job done without involving others. In fact, it’s often positively destructive to focus single-mindedly on your own targets when so many others’ success depends on your cooperation and involvement.

What is partnership?

Holding oneself to account for the success of each member of the team


Working in partnership maximises the chances of success for you, and for everyone else in the organisation. Leading the charge on a white charger is a very lonely position to be in, especially when you look round, and there’s nobody behind you!

The ideal Team Partnership

In a team where the ideal model of partnership exists:

  • The whole team takes accountability for everyone’s results – if one team member is struggling to produce results, the whole team feels it has failed.
  • The leader is a full member of the team, not set apart from other team members in any way, though he or she has a specific role to fulfil. And it’s their job to have him or her succeed, just as it’s their job to have team members succeed.
  • The satisfaction, motivation and wellbeing of other members of the team is just as much a part of your job as is achieving your targets.

Feel inspired by this post? Then please leave a comment, call us on 01865 881056 or email us at info@leaderslab.co.uk if you’d like to chat about this in more detail.