The Partnership Impact

Published: August 8, 2017

The wellness of a team is often determined by the health of the partnerships in leadership. In families, the quality of the marriage has a significant impact on the life of the children. In business, the relationship with the chief executive and his or her operations leaders usually shapes the delivery of the organizational mission. Likewise, dysfunction in these partnerships is the fastest way to undermine a team’s effectiveness. What if you could quickly assess the health or sickness of your most important partnership?

Try this ten-question assessment with the goal of answering 70% of the questions with “yes.”

Question 1: Partnership Norms

Are our day-to-day interactions true to our shared values?

Question 2: Mission Alignment

Do we see our future in the same way?

Question 3: Constructive Conflict

Do we handle our differences in perspective with maturity?

Question 4: Personal Connection

Does our collaboration fuel the strength of the relationship?

Question 5: Respect

Are we modeling unconditional positive regard in all transactions?

Question 6: Accountability

Do we hold ourselves and each other accountable consistently?

Question 7: Smart Risks

Have obstacles or the prospect of failure been factored into our growth?

Question 8: Innovation

Do we encourage exploration and discovery when solving problems?

Question 9: Change Management

Are there any unresolved issues we’re avoiding?

Question 10: Refocusing

Have we embraced our new opportunities together?

Few partnership score 10/10 in this exercise. A quick gap analysis tells you where to focus your attention. Strong partnerships communicate an expectation for continuous improvement and take this assessment multiple times throughout the lifespan of the relationship. There’s always work to do.

Steve Ritter is the Founder & CEO of the Team Clock Institute and the Managing Director of the Midwest Institute & Center for Workplace Innovation. You can learn more about executive coaching opportunities at

Photo of Steve Ritter, the co-founder of The Center for Team Excellence

Steve Ritter

Steve Ritter is an internationally recognized expert on team dynamics whose clients include Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams, and many educational organizations. He is on the faculty of the Center for Professional Excellence at Elmhurst University where he earned the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Steve is the former Senior Vice President, Director of Human Resources at Leaders Bank, named the #1 Best Place to Work in Illinois in 2006 and winner of the American Psychological Association's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award in 2010. Steve provides ongoing workplace culture consultation to many thriving companies including Kraft Foods, Advocate Health Care, Kellogg's, the Chicago White Sox, AthletiCo, and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.