Skills, Aptitudes and Attitudes of Highly Successful Partner Managers

There are key differences in skills, aptitudes and attitudes of a highly collaborative partner manager.  They are skilled at adapting to an ever changing environment and operating in a world beyond the traditional organization boundaries.  Their ability to collaborate is what provides them the relationship power necessary for success. These skills are often considered ‘soft skills’ but in fact are ‘hard’ to master and are not easily quantified.

Several studies have been done through the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals to better determine what skills are commonly found in the successful partner manager. Below is a profile of the collaborative professional based on research.

The study ‘Today’s Alliance Professional….Tomorrow’s Strategic Leader”, 2009[1] sought to reveal what was characteristic of the work styles of successful partner managers.  The relevant work style characteristics are listed below.  Note that these characteristics are similar to those of a successful leader, and support the idea that partner management is a great training ground for general management. Characteristics of successful partner managers include:

  • Ability to lead and influence
  • Willingness to take initiative with little or no supervision
  • Strategic/global thinkers seeking and creating opportunities
  • Capable of dealing with high levels of ambiguity
  • Highly innovative, dynamic, creative, independent thinkers
  • People-oriented with high empathy
  • Highly cooperative, preferring to work in teams
  • Effective at networking across organizational boundaries
  • Apt to flex rules to get things done (likely to suffer in bureaucratic environments)

Read the full report

[1] Today’s Alliance Professional…Tomorrow’s Strategic Leader, American Management Association, Society of Human Resource Management, and the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals, 2009