Some people seem to be borne to do business as loners some people prefer partnership... but finding a fitting partner is tricky... not only in marriage. Being forced to cooperate with a bad fit might be a disaster. Let's look closer on it using an example...
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On September 5, 03 a Czech financial servers "www.penize.cz" published my prediction concerning what was then a surprising news for public: serious problems of a "symbol of entrepreneurship in Czech republic" the mighty successful travel agency FISCHER were revealed and its owner VACLAV FISCHER (VF), also a senator, took on board another famous personality of post-communist Czech Republic business life an investor KAREL KOMAREK (KK).
VF published an interview then on how glad he was to find such a competent business partner and what a wonderful cooperation it was supposed to be.
I don't know to what degree he himself believed in what he said - my estimate is about 1% - but I predicted Vaclav Fischer would be out of FISCHER in 2-6 months - while VF seemed to have really expected this cooperation to work in a long term.
On January 30, 04 Czech online paper iDnes brought an article "Fischer leaves his firm after 14 years", subtitled "Reasons of his leave are unclear" quoting VF himself: 'I am leaving with heavy heart. But it is the last necessary step I have to take in order to safe the mark FISCHER'.
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My take on why this partnership couldn't have worked was simple: General incompatibility of the personalities of VF and KK but there seems to be more than meets the eye and so... let's look at it more closely. (I admit I feel a bit embarrassed for slicing and dicing VF and KK publicly but... aren't they supposed to love it as celebrities? Plus my outcomes are nothing but subjective intuitive guesswork anyway.)
GENERAL COMPATIBILITY of VF and KK seems to be only 10% - both in the beginning and at the end of their short partnership... and minimal GENERAL COMPATIBILITY for successful business partnership would be 60% in my books.
VF seems to be a BUSINESS PARTNER vs. LONER by 50 : 50% - and I think minimal level for being in a successful business partnership would be BUSINESS PARTNER vs.LONER = 80 : 20%.
KK seems to be BUSINESS PARTNER vs. LONER = 0/100%.
Already this general evaluation would cast a big doubt about the success of their joint project at least for me. Anyway let's go into more details:
GIVING/TAKING - a scale described in depths in the previous text on this website
VF = 50 : 50% - rather typical for a capitalist " with human face", somebody who runs a smaller business and loves it (or somebody who started from a smaller scale), who thinks a lot about his customers' needs and wants them to be really satisfied and happy about the quality of products/services. Also a person who feels a good deal of responsibility for what he does.
KK = 0 : 100% - very typical for somebody who thinks about customers' satisfaction only from a point of view of profit, cutting costs, getting away with as low quality as the customer is still willing to pay for. Very typical for people running big businesses, corporations that kind of loose human size. Responsibility strictly in the limits of law and/or its enforcement.
"CROOK LEVEL" - tendency to ignore ethical principles in doing business, the higher figure the bigger "crook "... A very important or even basic scale to look at before you start any business in a country with shaky unreliable judicial system. I wouldn't suggest to go into partnership with anybody over 30% in Czech Republic no matter how pressing or promissing the conditions for a project might be. The limit varies for other countries.
Looking into personal and entrepreneurial history of a potential partner mostly reveals as much as an intuitive assessment would.
WORKAHOLISM - in my estimate scoring above 60% on this scale starts to be serious. Please don't forget, workaholism is an addiction and impairs perception, sensitivity, system of values, realism etc.
VF = 100%
KK = 50%
TOUCH WITH REALITY - overlap of subjective picture of the world and objective world itself. An entrepreneur should be on100% unless he or she finds oneself in some kind of intense period of personality rebirth/rebuilding that is not supposed to last long
VF = 100%
KK = 85% now and 100% in September... this tells us KK is actually going through some personal change that brings slight disorientation or change in orientation
INFERIORITY/GRANDIOSITY COMPLEX - The pain this complex causes may be compensated by high work performance and striving for power and... I wouldn't trust a partner who is motivated by compensation of it to a big degree. I wouldn't risk choosing a partner with more then 10% level of INFERIORITY/GRANDIOSITY COMPLEX
VF = 1%
KK = 70%
SELF-SABOTAGE - biased unconscious programming that works in sort of circles and keeps ruining what one has achieved or keeps a low ceiling of success "predestined" by parents and other authorities. More than 1% on this scale seems to be a warning signal for a business person
VF = 10%
KK = 0%
SATURATION OF PSYCHOLOGICAL NEEDS - the more saturated needs the healthier person, also more satisfied in life... but some frustration proofs to be an efficient motivation for work... what level of saturation would I purely pragmatically prefer in a business person as a guarantee for high work performance:
1) Need of safety, security - 50% saturation
(This means need for: Flat, house, health insurance, good education for children, elegant enough wear, car, yacht, maybe personal jet: simply "basic survival" outfit. Marketing is generally trying to make us feel never satisfied and never secure and always lacking something in this respect... the same applies for he next need. )
2) Need of love and belonging - 60% saturation
(Marketing is trying to make us never sure we are lovable enough and we "belong" enough unless we get the right products... that will secure out social status and desirability... and love?)
3) Need of respect and self-respect - 100% saturation
4) Need of self-expression, self-actualization, using one's talents - 100% saturation
And how did it seem to be in VF and KK around September 5, 03:
It seems VF was rather down and his firm's financial problems shattered him really badly. Was he actually unconsciously longing for getting out of his business? Was there a SELF-SABOTAGE program activated? As a matter of fact he already once sold a successful travel agency he had built in Germany I don't know for what the reasons. He definitely was an easy prey.
How is it for VF and KK now - February 6, 04:
Isn't it interesting somebody's need for safety and security can't be saturated no matter how much money/ how many assets the person has... as the real cause of insecurity might hide somewhere completely different ("complex") and compensation of a frustrated need might never lead to its saturation.
And isn't it interesting to realize leaving big part of one's life ( = business built for 14 years) behind may be rather liberating? And actually give new space for self-realization and joy of life.
I wonder to what degree VF deliberately but unconsciously (vs. consciously = 90 : 10%) stirred his own firm into the situation that would offer him a way out of it - out of something that became too big for him (yes : no = 100 : 0), that changed from an entrepreneur's adventure into a more boring - and complex - daily routine (yes : no = 99 : 1%). (The numbers in brackets are my intuitive estimates.)
I wonder how much money ( my guess: 60%) and humiliation (100%) VF would have been able to save if he had had a good psychic and psychological coach. And I wonder how many times he will have to act out his biased unconscious programs till he realizes what he actually does. I would suggest to him to start a self/discovery work rather than unconsciously repeat the same dysfunctional pattern again and again till he makes a of punch line of himself.
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How many business disasters and bankruptcies could have been and could be prevented by correct evaluation of a possible business partners' personalities and their compatibility? Either psychologically or intuitively or both. I can hardly imagine a better investment of money and effort than doing a really deep research in personal compatibility before a business deal is struck.
In the case of FISCHER I am very sure a better investor could have been found unless Vaclav Fischer really wanted to get out... semiconsciously.
It rather startles me in politics one can register the same lack of attention and intention in looking into personal compatibility of partners as in business ... while in selecting astronauts for example personal compatibility is a closely observed issue... thought their shared journey lasts much shorter - mostly.
Cambridge, MA, USA, February 2004