“Find like-hearted kings living in the same direction. Sign treaties. When they're at war, you’re at war.”
- Dan Allender
We’re working with two businesses with the intention of combining them. We’re early in the process, but we are off to an extraordinary start. The deeper we enter into the process, the more we realize how uncommon this is for two owners to move from the autocratic outright of a sole proprietorship to the “joint and several” of partnership.
We’re helping them guard their hearts and urging that they protect the preciousness of this process from swine looking to gobble up their enthusiasm. We are well-acquainted with the statistics and stories around partnerships…the warnings and prohibitions. That is not deterring our enthusiasm, but bringing a level of thoughtfulness and sobriety to the process that is pretty extraordinary.
We gathered for a two day off-site with the ownership from both companies. The process we walked through was so illuminating, revealing, and ultimately confirming, that we believe it is a roadmap we will walk many others down. Well before we ever talked about percentages, ownership, and dove into financial statements, we went after something far more meaningful:
Alignment with God - we went through deep personal and collective consecration. We asked God big questions and got big answers about his thoughts regarding the owners and this collaboration.
Alignment of expectations - what we are after and hoping to accomplish during this time together.
Alignment personally - since both company leaders have been through LifePlan, they have a set of personal core values and a purpose statement. We aligned around the deepest and truest things about the leaders. We talked about their contrasting DISC profiles and read about their Enneagram pairing.
Aligned corporately - since both have worked with our coaching practice, both have deep and defining core values and purpose statements for their businesses. We lined them up, discussed them, found where they were similar and where they complemented in their differences.
Alignment of vision - once we found deep and committed alignment personally, corporately, and with God…once we had determined all the pros, cons, and fears associated…once we had discussed all of that, and still found growing alignment through the process and even in spite of the challenges, we wrote an inspired picture of what the combined might look like in 3 years.
Alignment of next steps - there is a lot that has to be done and we set up clear actionable items to methodically move us in the direction of consolidation.
Our enemy prowls and we are tiptoeing through piles of wreckage from so many failed previous experiments in this direction, but we are taking our time, alert-and-oriented times four, and our eyes are wide open. The uncommon steps we have already taken have spotted us quite a few touchdowns verses our opponent.
I am not a betting man, but I would put pretty good money on this one. I am a storyteller and I can’t wait to tell where the rest of this one goes. It is already a real page-turner and they are just getting started. Only God can write these kinds of stories and I am so humbled that he is letting us hold the pencil for him.
Do you feel like you are walking alone or do you have others invested in your life and your business?
Are you aligned with like-hearted kings (or queens) fighting in the same direction?
Are you finding yourself in unique situations and writing uncommon stories?