I hesitate to admit at all on this blog that I actually have any time to watch TV, but nonetheless… while watching CBS’ The Amazing Race on Sunday evening, I noticed some interesting dynamics of the teams that could apply to business and how you work with your agency partners. Most specifically, how you treat your agency partners and whether or not your management style is helping you to get the most out of such an integral investment. Let’s take a look at some of the team dynamics at play:
The “you can do it” partner – encouraging and supportive, yet from a distance – not getting involved but cheerleading all the way.
The “blame” partner - when anything goes wrong, despite knowing that you played a roll in the outcome, you blame the other party.
The “all for one” partner – truly working with your team members to share information, provide positive feedback and encouragement, and sharing in both the accomplishments and the challenges.
Herbert Lang and Nathaniel Lofton - Harlem Globetrotters - came in first Monday night through supportive team work and cooperation. Definitely "all for one" partners!
The leader/other half to a “yes man” partner – i.e., you provide all of the guidance and direction and your teammate just follows along.
The “naysayer partner” - any suggestion provided by your team members is met with instant doubt or a flat out “no.”
Each of these types of partnerships are on display on this show – and we’ll find out in the end which method ultimately equals winners. It may seem obvious why one works better over another – but if you don’t stop and think about what kind of partner you are, and what kind of partner your agency vendors are, you could be wasting valuable time and money. Partnerships work best when they consist of mutual respect, trust and a sense of camaraderie – i.e., we’re all here working towards a mutual goal. After all, you’ve put the work into researching and choosing the best agency partner (you did put that work in, right?!), so trust them, involve them and respect them. If you don’t, you might want to consider a new teammate.