How to pick a business partner.

Look around.

Behind most successful businesses, you’ll see not one man/woman but two.  Why sure, one may be more in the spotlight (Bill Gates/Paul Allen), it usually takes two brains to build successful companies, and successful shows.

Producers have to work in partnerships all the time.

But how do you pick one?

I got a great lesson in picking a partner the other day.  It didn’t come from a Harvard Business Review article.  And it didn’t come from a TED talk.

It came from Dallas Wiens.

Don’t know Dallas?

Dallas is a 27 year old man who was recipient of the first full face transplant here in the US.  After suffering a serious accident that left him permanently blind and without lips, a nose or eyebrows, Dallas wasn’t expected to live.  But live he did.  And after a three month coma, he awoke and started on an incredible road to recovery.

And that road to recovery included a very experimental surgery that gave him the look that you see in the photo on this blog.

Pretty amazing, right?

You know what’s more amazing?

That’s his wedding photo.

On March 30th of this year, Dallas married Jamie Nash, a fellow patient at The Parkland Hospital Burn Victims Support Group.  Jamie has had a pretty rough time of it herself, having been in a car accident that caused burns on more than 70% of her body.  And a result, her injuries pose challenges to her every day life.

But, what’s incredible is what she can’t do, he can.  And what he can’t do, she can.

Or, as one website put it, “The couple’s injuries are such that they can do things for one another which individually they could not.”

And I couldn’t think of any better way to describe the perfect personal or professional partnership.

You don’t want to pick a partner that has the same strengths and the same weaknesses as you.  Pick someone that can pick up your slack, so you can focus more on what you do well.  Complementing each other is the best way to ensure your company receives compliments from others.

And a huge compliment and congratulations to Dallas and Jamie.


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.