The Power of Partnerships

Written by:

Kyle Hermans

CEO & Co-Founder

Strategic Partnerships: How to Choose the Right Partner for Business Success and Impact

In business, as is in life, it takes courage to form a partnership. 

Whether a romantic union or a strategic business partnership, it’s brave to place trust in, collaborate with, learn from, give to, and open your heart (or your proprietary knowledge) to another person or entity.

But with the right partner, at the right time, doing so will unlock a door to a whole new level of greater impact and knowledge. 

“If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.” 

– African Proverb

Growing up in the vibrant tribal culture and customs of my native South Africa, the concept of partnering is in my blood. This ethos, deeply woven into the fabric of African society, teaches that while one may travel quickly alone, true distance and lasting impact are achieved together.

Another proverb I heard frequently in my youth was this: To achieve greatness, whether individually or collectively, requires a village. 

You may have heard the phrase, “It takes a village” which first became popular relating to the need for a community to raise a child but has become widely used to describe how someone achieved enormous success (they did not do it alone). 

Companies too can be seen as children. There are newborn, toddler, tween, and teen developmental stages like kids. Also like children, companies need nurturing and care from many people from inception to maturity. 

At Be Courageous, we’ve experienced every benefit and challenge that comes with partnerships that have spanned the individual, team, and organizational levels, including collaborations with knowledge partners across academic, scientific, and research domains. 

The driving force behind these alliances is a shared vision of winning together, and us a testament to the transformative power of partnership.

Why partner?

Partnerships are formed to bridge knowledge and skills gaps, amplify the impact towards a shared vision, and merge diverse strengths and capabilities.

A great partnership emerges when two paths converge towards the same destination, where each party is equipped with complementary skills and strengths. 

Another reason a business or person may partner is to give someone with a unique “superpower” the platform to scale their impact, creating a synergy that elevates all involved.

What makes a partnership work?

The foundation of a successful partnership requires effective communication, a shared vision, and aligned values. 

A partnership that works will highlight and utilize each other’s strengths while working towards mutual advantages with respect and trust. 

The ability to navigate challenges together, rather than shying away from them, fortifies the bond and enriches the partnership. It’s essential to have direct, open, and safe communication to facilitate solving problems that are sure to appear. 

When Be Courageous partners with another organization or person, we commit with utmost loyalty. As in a marriage, before signing “til death do us part” legal vows to each other, it’s been a successful practice of ours to “date before marrying.”  Engaging in preliminary projects before formalizing an alliance allows both parties to understand each other’s working style and decision-making processes, ensuring a fit that transcends mere compatibility on paper. 

The real test of partnership

True partnership is tested through the crucible of success and adversity. It’s one thing to align on paper or in dialogue, but the dynamic, exponentially changing, and disruptive nature of the world means that challenges and victories will reveal the true strength of an alliance. 

After the “honeymoon period” ends in a new partnership, experiencing wins and losses together offers a holistic view of the partnership’s resilience, learning capacity, and long-term viability. 

This process of trial and error, of shared experiences, provides the clarity needed to determine if the partnership can sustain growth and overcome obstacles in the long term.

Partnership pitfalls

The pitfalls of unsuccessful partnerships include impatience, lack of sharing, usurping, and infringement on intellectual property, and cutting out a partner to get a faster win or try to keep more for the self. Consistent communication and frequent check-ins on how the partnership is going will mitigate and close the gap on any possible pitfalls. You can resolve these issues before they become problems. 

Courage and partnerships

Embarking on a partnership journey requires courage, openness, and vulnerability. But the increased impact, achievements, and transformation success far outweigh what could be accomplished alone. It’s a path that demands patience, shared effort, and a commitment to transparency and mutual growth.

When you partner, you’re sharing responsibility for wins and losses. When something goes wrong, both partners will bear the burden, and when there’s a win, the pie gets divided equally. For anyone who’s trying to get a fast “fix,” this strategy will not work for you. This requires a long-term point of view.

Partnerships, much like the communal ethos of my South African heritage, are about going farther together than you can go alone to make a meaningful impact. A collective effort, with the right partner, grounded in trust and shared vision, can elevate your capabilities and allow you to achieve (even more) remarkable feats. 

In the world of business and beyond, the power of partnerships is not just a strategy; it’s a possible pathway to unprecedented success and fulfillment.

Considering a partnership for growth? We can help you with the pros and cons and help guide you toward a purposeful alliance. 

Power of Partnerships Worksheet

Here’s your guide to help you decide when, why, and who to partner with to elevate your impact. Bonus: Outreach email template included!  


Corporate Fragility


Most of us agree that we are really only at the tip of a massive amount of change. The 2020s will be the decade of challenge for the globe.

Corporate Fragility


Most of us agree that we are really only at the tip of a massive amount of change. The 2020s will be the decade of challenge for the globe.

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