What are the benefits of research partnership? How do they work? How do you set them up? How do you know when it is a good one? When do you dismantle it and move on?
I have experience magic of great partnerships in my life. They have enabled me to achieve results far greater than my own natural abilities, drive and resources.
In life my partner is Rihana (wife), our personalities, outlook and characters are opposites yet we have a happy and prosperous family and have been married for 30 years with 4 wonderful children. Our differences are gifts to keep every single moment we spend together interesting. However, we share the same vision and a deep connection and love.
My spiritual brother is Steve Smith. If I have something to discuss that I can’t with anyone else then I’ll phone Steve. I know hundreds of people from own faith and a large and close family but can’t talk to them like I can with Steve. Yet, spiritually I feel more deeply connected with Steven than anyone else in the world.
In research on the international stage my research brother is Mark Jackson. We have had an amazing working relationship yet have only met several time. The wonders of technology, such as email and Skype, has enabled us to write over hundred research papers, organised several international conferences and workshops, several books and monographs and we were Editors in Chief of 3 international journals which we started. This we have done over a 10 year period without any external support or funding with us being thousands miles away from each other.
At UCLAN my research partner and best friend is Abdelbary and working with him on various projects is always a joy. We have now established one of the largest research groups in Drug Delivery Systems in Europe. I feel we will in time go onto produce amazing results.
My achievements are nothing compared to some magical research partnerships whose achievements have been truly amazing.
Let’s look at 4 of the them and see what we can learn.
Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov won the Noble Prize for the discovery of graphene in 2010. They created a new material with extraordinary properties such set to transform electronics, from computers, sensors and solar cell using bloack of carbon and scotch tape. Graphene is stronger than steel, flexible, transparent and stretchy. This pair form the ideal supervisor and student relationship. Novoselov is the youngest Nobel laureate since 1973. For this pair to do research means to play and explore new horizons. They playfully try crazy things in the lab and sometimes they work and other time they don’t.
Wilbur and Orville Wright – their passion for flight was ignited when their father gave them a toy helicopter as kids. They initially built a printed press and published a daily paper, manufactured their own bicycles before experimenting with hand gliders, kites and wind tunnels. In 1903 they built their first aeroplane capable of flying for 30 minutes in one go. The world impact of their work has been truly amazing and has thrilled and excited millions of people all over the world.
Bill Gates and Paul Allen built the worlds largest software company starting off in Harvard after becoming obsessed with writing software. They realise that microprocessing was the future visualising a computer on every desk in every home. This amazing partnership has changed the world of work and the way we do things in a way that is hard to quantify. They have donated billions of dollars to charity for projects that are making a huge difference to people is poor and developing countries.
Thomas Edison and J. P. Morgan and the Vanderbilts Edison was skyrocketed to fame by his invention of the electric light bulb. You need money to bring your invention to the public. This was provided by Morgan and Vanderbilts launching the Edison Electric Light Company building power stations that spanned the country. Imagine what would life be like without electric bulbs? The world is lighter and brighter place because of this magical partnership.
Characteristics of Amazing Research Partnerships
What are the secrets to amazing research partnerships? How could you build them? How do we maximise output? What are the characteristics of great partnerships?
Faith and Trust
When you trust each other all your skills and abilities are magnified. When you have faith you will get great results. People perform in brilliant ways for those who show trust and faith in them. Learn to know and understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Good partners have a deeper connection and belief that their partner will pull through even the toughest of times.
“It is better to believe than to disbelieve; in so doing you bring everything to the realm of possibility”
– Albert Einstein.
All successful relationships have a firm foundation rooted in faith and trust. Lack of trust will make the partnership disintegrate quickly.
Be there to cheer your partner on. Pick him up when he is facing defeat. Encourage him to push through barriers and fears.
“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty” – Winston Churchill
Your encouragement will feel fantastic. Be positive in every situation. It allow your partner to access his greatest abilities. As the saying goes “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. It is easier to get going when you have the unwavering support and encouragement from your partner.
No matter how good the two you are individually you will not progress together until your vision and objectives are aligned.
“With vision there is no room to be frightened; No reason for intimidation. It’s time to march forward! Let’s be confident and positive!” – Charles R. Swindoll
When you face in the same direction shooting at the “bulls eye” together you achieve magical results. By working together your achievements grow exponentially.
The feeling of great in each other’s company is the driving force to keep you working together for a long time. You will learn to work more for each other and feel like a team that is closely connected and aligned. When you work together you joys will reach the top of the highest mountain. Your disappointments will be hurt deeply. Every emotion that you have individually is amplified. Your victories will be sweeter and defeats more depressing. The feelings of joy will drive you towards your goal. They will move you away from failure as you avoid the pain of defeat.
“The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.” – Anthony Robbins
That’s why there is always a big crowd when you go to football matches or sports events. It’s not much fun to watch even a great football match involving a great team such as Barcelona on your own. If your team wins you will feel pleased however with a crowd if your team wins you will feel amazing. Amazing partnership will turbocharge you towards excellence and success.
Passion and excitement in a partnership drives you towards success like a runaway train, turbocharged and unstoppable. Find someone who has the same passion and vision as you and then work with them. Spend time with them. Look at great partnerships such as Bill Gates and Paul Allen of Microsoft.
Curiosity and fun
If you are curious and explore new avenues together you will have great success. The drive towards seeking the new and exploring ideas in the fun and playful manner has been the secret of great discoveries, revolutionary products, new theories and outstanding achievements.
“A sense of curiosity is nature’s original school of education” – Smiley Blanton
Work with you partner and explore new avenues and have fun.
We need to know that we are fully supported in our endeavours. The best way is through a partnership. When will have support from a trusted partner we feel secure to try things out without worry. People leave good well-paid jobs because they feel that they are not supported.
“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant” – Martin Luther King
No partnership, even one with great potential, can be sustained without mutual support. However, if you give support to each other success is certain.
You have to be consistent in your behaviour and actions. Consistency and reliability are characteristics that everyone looks for in a partnership. This is true when you’re looking for life partner, business and research.
“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divine” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
You’re your partner is consistent you will feel confident of success. Be consistent in your thoughts and actions.
Liking each other
You will always do more for people you like compared to people that you don’t like. When you dislike a person you are unlikely to put your best effort forward.
“Keep the corners of your mouth turned up. Speak in a low, persuasive tone. Listen; be teachable. Laugh at good stories and learn to tell them… For as long as you are green, you can grow.” – Mother Theresa
I have experienced many potentially great partnerships fail because the people involved did not like each other. They had great skills and abilities. However, they didn’t spend enough time together to work on something sustainable. The partnerships failed. To achieve your full potential you have to have a mutual liking for one another. I have created a number of partnerships where at first sight there was nothing in common. However, we liked to spend time together. Over coffee we came up with new projects and ideas to explore together just for the fun of it. The results were far greater than people expected. If you really like each other you will find a project that you can work together on and have fun. This almost guarantees your success.
When your personalities and skills are complimentary you feel that you need each other. You will do more for each other. Your limitations are smashed away when you can draw on the skills and abilities of a partner you trust. This allows you to achieve far greater results than you can achieve individually.
Honesty and trust
Mutual trust gives the partnership a safe place to flourish. If you are trustworthy even your enemies will like you. They will trust you. They will listen to you. Honesty breaks down barriers. It makes people feel comfortable working together. It is a quality that everyone is seeking. Regardless of the field honesty and trust is important in marriage, business, sports and research explorations.
Honest hard work
You will always succeed with hard work. Achieving anything worthwhile requires hard work and application. Hard work is often lacking in people who have been brought up in a comfortable environment. It is a driving force that will take you from poverty to financial independence, from failure to success, from being average to outstanding and from being one of the team to being a star.
“Do not wait; the time will never be “just right’. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” – Napoleon Hill
You have to demand more from yourself than anyone can expect. Put in extra effort extra time and commitment towards your call. Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.
Be open and clear in communication with each other. Your vision, goals and actions must be clear. Give honest feedback to one another. Many projects fail due to poor communication. Success is more likely when communication channels are efficient and reliable.
“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
– George Bernard Shaw
Companies go out of business due to poor communication. Partnerships fail due to lack of communication. Communicate well and regularly in writing and speaking. Before you embark on a partnership ensure that the modes of communication and the frequency is optimised. When you don’t communicate 1 + 1 = 0. When the communication is optimised then partnerships become magical.
Don’t run away of the first sign of failure. You must stick together no matter. You can turn defeat into victory. Stick together even in failure you will have success. Failure is only temporary. It is a learning experience. It is the seed of success and achievement.
“I failed my way to success”. – Thomas Edison
Learning from failure will skyrocket toward you to your destination. The more you fail, the more you will learn, the greater your chance of success. Nature is teaching you a lesson. When you feel the pain of failure and correct your course of action you will eventually succeed. Success is just around the corner. Every great leader has failed on numerous occasions before becoming a spectacular success.
I have witnessed many partnerships evaporate into the sky because the one person is taking all the credit.
“This thing of darkness! Acknowledge mine” – William Shakespeare
You must recognise and appreciate the contribution of your partner. Our desire to contribute is an innate psychological need. We all want to contribute and grow. We are driven towards contribution. In a partnership where contribution is appreciated the chances of achieving great things are enhanced.
Put your partners needs first
When you put the other the persons need first you will have a strong partnership. Always think of the other person’s benefits before your own needs. Selfish people are disliked. People who are supportive and put others first are honoured and celebrated.
“Putting people first has always been America’s secret weapon. It’s the way we’ve kept the spirit of our revolutions alive — a spirit that drives us to dream and dare, and take great risks for a greater good.”
– Ronald Reagan
In any partnership, “Ask how may I help?” “How may I serve?” “What do you need?” “What can I do for you?” Answers these questions. Your desire to help and support will guarantee that you will also be supported. Your success will be directly proportional to the number of people you can help. The more you give help the more you will receive.
Have a higher purpose
A higher purpose adds an extra dimension to the partnership. If you both have a higher purpose which is aligned then the potential for magical partnership is fantastic. The value of working together, having a higher purpose will align your mind, body and spirit. Spiritual partnerships are the most enduring and successful. There are literally unstoppable.
“Without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure” – Ronald Reagan
What is your higher purpose? Write down the answers? Find one that will support your partnership and surely you will succeed.
You must focus on giving rather than taking in a partnership. John F. Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, rather what you can do for your country”. This is the perfect attitude in any partnership to ensure one term long term success.
Don’t judge each other and except each other’s good and bad points. We are keen to judge and criticise each other. We have become masters of judgement and criticism. Nothing destroys relationships faster than judgement and criticism. Instead of judging and criticising be kind and supportive. When you suspend judgements, criticisms and negative opinions then you provide a fertile ground for partnership to flourish and thrive. When you are being judged and criticised you feel as though you committed a crime and you are standing in court waiting for a sentence.
If you criticised then treat it as a compliment and strive to better.
“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” – Aristotle
Become a master re-framer
Turn a negative situation into an inspirational situation. Reframe the failure to drive you towards success. The greatest inventions, discoveries and achievements have been possible because the people reframed failures and turned them into drive towards success.
“Turning a negative into a positive is essential to strengthening a marriage or any partnership” – Unknown
Build magical relationships and watch your achievements sour into the sky towards the moon and I’ll see you in heaven.