Independent Thinking Blog

What Genesis (the rock band) Can Teach You About Successful Partnerships

Sporting events have become sensory overload zones. The NFL has cheerleaders. The NBA has cheerleaders too, and mascots who do wacky slam dunks. Major League Baseball has sausage throws (don’t ask) and trivia questions and “walk up” songs. The last is the music each player has selected to boom through the stadium when they come up to bat. Many have appropriately beat-rich rap, hip hop, salsa, or heavy metal. But this one athlete likes Phil Collins.

If you’ve ever listened to a Phil Collins song, you know the man was pure pop music commercial gold. If he wrote it, it was going to be a hit.

Before he had a solo career, Collins used to be in a very successful band called Genesis with Peter Gabriel. Gabriel has had success as a solo artist–but it’s been more hit or miss. Sledgehammer was a huge commercial success; Us (my personal favorite) wasn’t a chart climber. And while Passion (a soundtrack) is gorgeous music, I may be one of the few people to actually own a copy.

You don’t want Mini-Me for a partner. You want someone with complementary strengths.

While Gabriel’s music has far more depth, he’d probably still be struggling for attention without Collins’ understand of what the public wants. One brought the nuance, the other wrapped it up in a pretty package.

What do you look for in a business partner?

Photo by hans thijs (Flickr).

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