While many of us tend to think of serial entrepreneurs and idea makers as lone visionaries, it turns out that -- at least as often as not -- the bold leaders we admire are aided and abetted by key partners.
One of the best ways to push ideas forward is to find a partner in crime. Aside from the ally factor, the primary benefits of partnership are (not surprisingly) twofold: shared accountability and complementary skill sets. Shared accountability helps keep you productive day in and day out, while finding someone whose strengths complement your weaknesses can help you divide and conquer.
Behance has found that the most fruitful partnerships often involve one person who is a creative dreamer type and another who is a more down-to-earth operations type. Paul English, the serial entrepreneur who co-founded Kayak.com, describes his creativity as both a "blessing and a curse." English says, "A lot of creatives will go from idea to idea to idea, and when they encounter something painful, they just move on rather than solve the problem."
Since English himself is a self-professed "poster child for ADD," he likes to partner up with operations-oriented people who can keep him on track. "I have hired people around me that are extremely predictable. They have the execution skills that I don't, and they're likely to keep me focused and the idea focused." Coming from the dreamer end of the spectrum, English advocates "partnering yourself with someone who may not be as creative as you, but has execution skills."
Whichever end of the spectrum you inhabit, finding a partner who can serve as a foil to your skill set can make all the difference. Especially in trying times.
This post by J.K. Glei is based on research by the Behance team, which runs the Behance Creative Network, the Action Method project management application, the Creative Jobs List.