book hack
The Partnership CharterBy David Gage

In a Nutshell

An experienced mediator shares hard-won insights on how to avoid the pitfalls – and maximize the benefits – of business partnerships.

Favorite quote

A lot of things are bad ideas if you do them without sufficient caution and planning (cases in point: scuba diving, skydiving, mountain climbing). Business partnerships are no different.

David Gage


For such a critical building block of modern economies, the study of partnerships has been left out of most business courses and literature. This absence is surprising, as partnerships drive most successful companies and provide many a cautionary tale when they go wrong.

Psychologist and business mediation expert David Gage has decades of experience in negotiating between conflicted business partners, and he brings it all to bear in his 2004 book, The Partnership Charter. Should you tackle your business idea alone or share the burden and the spoils? Should partners be similar, or complementary? Most importantly, how can you ensure it all runs smoothly, with minimal fallout?

Gage teaches an MBA on managing family businesses, perhaps the most difficult of all setups to get right. As well as invaluable theory and a trove of true stories, the book provides a complete example of an actual written 'charter' from one of Gage's clients.

Here are the 3 key insights from this Hack

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    Partner-led companies are more likely to succeed
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