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The secret to great partnerships

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Brian Grazer and Ron Howard started out dreaming of making movies together, long before they won best picture for “A Beautiful Mind,” with Grazer as producer and Howard as director.

They’ve made plenty of other terrific movies, including “Apollo 13.” Their secret, says former Disney CEO Michael Eisner in his book about partnerships, is freedom from being in lock step.

When Grazer’s projects do well, like the TV show “24,” Howard benefits equally. And when Howard spends more than a year on a movie like “The Da Vinci Code,” Grazer also reaps the rewards.

“Whatever kind of limitations there might be, whatever years one guy might be generating more earnings than the other—it’s all going to come out in the wash,” says Howard. “And there’s a value in the partnership, there’s a value in the structure of that, sort of beyond monetary definition. It takes the scorekeeping out of it, that’s the big thing.”

— Adapted from Working Together: Why Great Partnerships Succeed, Michael Eisner with Aaron Cohen, Harper Business.

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