How To Build An Enduring Partnership


with Lovevery

How To Build An Enduring Partnership

How To Build An Enduring Partnership 950 950 33Voices

Jessica Rolph, Rod Morris and Jenna discuss the different layers of creating and nurturing a successful partnership. We dive into important topics such as how to help each individual develop their identity within your company, the importance of being vulnerable and having honest conversations, especially when difficult, and consistently ensuring that everyone on your team feels acknowledged and appreciated.

Highlights from the Transcript

  • On being an empathetic partner: “It can be easy as the co-founder who is behind the scenes to feel a little lost in the shuffle. What’s important is that we’re each thinking about what the other one needs, in terms of their strengths, goals, and the kind of identity they’re trying to step into. We try to understand and be open with each other about what we are each trying to get from this experience. If we’re each feeling happy and like we’re stepping into that identity we’re going to be better co-founders who are capable of building a stronger business.”
  • On growing as a founder: “When you’re a founder there’s a very different level of responsibility and a deeper level of alignment between your identity and what you’re building. It really allows someone to tap into their full potential because you’re constantly doing things that are outside of your comfort zone. You’re giving everything you’ve got. There’s no room to worry about how people perceive you because you are doing whatever it takes to make the business successful. I wanted that experience because I wanted to know that I got the best out of myself…Even if I’m having a hard time or seeing former colleagues doing really well, I know that if I went the corporate route I would have always had a sense of regret wondering what would have happened if I went for it with Lovevery.”
  • On surfacing and processing emotions: “We talk about the feelings part of the business. Relationships are what keep you up at night. If things aren’t going smoothly, you’re having inevitable conflict, you don’t feel proud of how you handled something or the way you were treated, you have to get those feelings out and process them so you can move forward.”
  • On taking a step back to connect: “When you’re moving too fast it’s helpful to just take a walk and have an open-ended conversation about what you are trying accomplish and what your dreams are. Making time to just hear each other out helps you realize that you have good alignment. You’ll have much clearer next steps than what you may have thought when you were texting or chatting on Slack.”
  • On credit: “We often consolidate credit to the founder or the CEO. If all of the credit concentrates on one person, even if you want it to because it benefits the business, irrational voices start popping up in your head and make you question your contribution: Does anyone know that I’m grinding day in and out on revenue? Did I really help drive growth? As a result of that, you can start to worry that you’re going to miss out on learning opportunities because you’re not included in conversations or meetings. That’s really challenging. It comes down to asking how you can both build your desired identities within the company, supporting each other, and putting opportunities around achieving those goals… It’s also about recognizing why credit is important and putting it in its place. You have to be aware of the facts, like what the market wants, and be secure in yourself.”
  • On bringing your whole self to work: “There is a lot to be said about not getting caught up in the image of who you feel like you are as CEO compared to what the media and society are telling you to be. This is a team effort. I love what we’re co-creating. I sometimes wonder if the team has an image of a CEO that they’re expecting. I’m not that and I’m not going to be that. I’m just part of this group of people who are putting forward a mission that we all really believe in. The more that we can dig in and be in flow with what we are creating and disconnect from the supposed images of certain titles the more real and meaningful it will be.”
  • On opening up as an executive: “The more fully you can express what is on your mind or the ideas that you have the more you’ll get out of your team. The more sides of yourself you show, the more team members you’ll find you have common ground with. If you’re not using your sense of humor or taking a chance to be creative, you’re not giving a chance for others to connect with you on that level and do the same. The second thing is that you’re showing everybody else that all ideas are worth considering and that you’re going to get creative and take chances. You get better ideas and make better decisions when you are in an environment where people can really be their whole selves and they feel like their idea has a chance of winning.”
  • On vulnerability: “I used to have a bias against vulnerability and saw more downside. If I was vulnerable about not knowing what to do or making a mistake, I was opening myself to somebody else getting a promotion. It was a very risk-averse, aggressive, employee mindset. I started to realize that there is nothing but upside to vulnerability. It shows that you are more dependable, forthright, relatable, and will get to a decision faster. It allows people to feel like they can be more honest with you.”
  • On honesty and forgiveness: “I have a really hard time when the idea of who I want to be doesn’t match up with my behavior.  I’m working on shortening the cycle between recognizing that I’m behaving in a way I wish I hadn’t, going through the wave of feeling bad, forgiving myself and then being able to be vulnerable about my failures.”