Why the Word Partner Carries So Much Weight
The very word Partner denotes specific rights, obligations, and entitlements in most people’s minds. No other word carries such a hefty relationship status as does the expression and label of Partner.
In intimate relationships, the word and idea commonly stand for commitment, fidelity, and a distinct cohesiveness reserved for one particular person.
In business settings, the word Partner denotes a distinction in economics, an external social status to speak or represent the business, and an increased influence over the decisions that affect the larger enterprise.
Because of the lofty expectations connected to the title, word, and concept, Partner does not get applied or awarded lightly. It carries social and relational weight and people use it sparingly.
Organizations that utilize the title to convey a distinct place in the hierarchy often do so without recognizing the expectations those on the receiving end of the label have for what it means. Partners who cannot influence the decisions affecting others are often unhappy leaders.
Equally important is the ability to wear the badge of Partner in social settings. Those denied this reputational honor often bristle when the title is applied without the power to represent it to the external world. Industry peers, customers, clients, and the leaders of other organizations look for the social proof of seniority and wisdom that the word Partner conveys. And everyone knows it. Most of all, those who have been granted the title.
In a world of seemingly endless titles and personal monikers, Partner still means something distinct and honorable to most. Smart leaders know better than to give the title and not also the rights imbued with it. They reserve the label only for those worthy of it.
But it isn’t always the title that matters. Those leaders who treat others like partners without the label hold a special place in the hearts of those who follow. When leaders give colleagues a voice in what most influences a team or organization, they affirm the reason why the title means so much.
At the end of the day, what always matters most to people is the ability to shape the decisions that shape others.
Appreciate the way you respect the semantics of a title but always emphasize the actions being more profound. It shows up in many of these daily emails.