The Power of Partnerships
Connection is all about partnerships with customers, vendors, colleagues, and prospects. I sat with Marc Allen, an internationally renowned author, president, and publisher of New World Library, which he co-founded with Shakti Gawain in 1977. He has guided the company from a small start-up with no capital to its current position as one of the leading independent publishers in the country. Marc credits kindness through the creation of partnerships as the key to success in his business life. Marc has many claims to fame, one of which is bringing Eckert Tolle, first a Canadian-published author, to the United States. Thanks to Marc, we have been enlightened by important books such as Tolle’s The Power of Now, as well as The Ten-Percent Solution, and Marc’s own The Greatest Secret of All.
As I think about it, the word kindness gets down to the essence of what is important in life. Even Aldous Huxley at the end of this life wrote, “It’s a little embarrassing that after forty-five years of research and study, the best advice I can give people is to be a little kinder to each other.” But what he says really gets down to the essence of the partnership model. Working in partnership with each other is so much more important than the competitive model.
When Marc was first starting his company, he discovered that working in partnership with people is the best way to run a successful business, calling the decision a no-brainer.
You can choose how you look at the world, and as you enter a business, you could look at the world as competitive, or you can choose to look at the world as a wonderful abundant place filled with wonderful people. You can choose to decide to respect everyone and be nice and be kind to everyone and that will make your business thrive.
I don’t worry about any competition because everything I do is unique. I don’t have to worry about the things I publish being up against other things. I don’t have to compete with the big or other really good publishers that I admire and respect, like Hay House and Sounds True. We are working together to launch hundreds of wonderful great new voices into the world and that is changing the world. I love my competitors because they are not really competitors, but partners of mine.
There is a great Buddhist teaching about the different types of wisdom. One wisdom says “We are all the same, all one.” Then there is another wisdom that says “We are all very different.” They both exist. They both are absolutely true. We have the same desires, needs, chemical structures, the same bodies with the same organs, yet we are all vastly different…unique geniuses. Both of this wisdom— that we are the same and that we are different—are what connect us. To work in partnership with people, even during disputes, produces a win-win for both parties. Mom was right when she said fighting doesn’t solve anything. Win-win partnerships and mediated conflict resolution are more powerful than any structure that uses exploitation, domination, and conflict.
I remember growing up in the Midwest there was a radio DJ who always signed off saying “And remember, it’s nice to be important, but far more important to be nice.” It doesn’t matter how important or how wealthy you are, at the end of your life, what will be important?
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