There can be advantages to shared ownership. For it to work, you’ve to be open to different views and ways of doing things, which can often lead to a more innovative and productive workplace for you as shared owners.
However, there can be disadvantages too. Stubbornness, egotism and the refusal to do things someone else’s way, can lead to inefficiency, stagnation and a toxic work environment. So, what’s to be done? How can multiple owners work better together? Here’s five ways you can:
Distinguish Between Owners and Managers
Just because someone’s an owner, doesn’t mean they should be a manager. It’s not uncommon for non-managerial owners to cite their ownership as reasons to overturn a management decision. You need to practice corporate governance, and make sure that major management decisions are not continually undermined by some owners.
It’s a simple suggestion but a good one. You can never communicate too much in a company with shared ownership. It’s not just important, it’s crucial that you always listen to others, regardless of how big their stake is. Inspiration and innovation can come from anyone, and it’s important that when you think you’ve a good idea that you communicate it, and when someone does in turn that you listen.
Don’t be Afraid to Show Weakness
People in successful relationships, professional and personal, aren’t afraid to admit to their own weaknesses. You need to trust the other owners and value their trust in return. Your weakness may be another owner’s strength, and vice versa. When you’re comfortable with the other owners, and understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, you’ll be able to work better together and achieve great things as shared owners.
Challenge Each Other
Whether it’s Microsoft, Apple or Berkshire Hathaway, successful partnerships foster healthy competition and reward achievement. Compete with each other, and strive to show how each of you can make the company better. If you feel you’ve achieved more than the other owners, keep going. They’ll look to your example and set higher standards for themselves.
Learn to Take Hits to Your Ego
For many, it’s easier said than done. However, for shared ownership to work, each owner must be willing to take hits to their ego. Don’t take it too personally when others tell you that your perfect idea is flawed. True collaboration, the kind that shared ownership needs, only works when you and the other owners accept that not every individual idea you have (or every decision you make) might not always be the best.