Isn’t is funny how you can write something over and over again without really thinking about it until one day you do and realize that the word you’ve been using doesn’t come close to what you really mean?
That’s what happened to Maggie and me. In draft after draft of our proposal for Between us we have it all, “partnership” surfaced again and again. We didn’t give it much thought – after all, on the surface, the word described what we were writing about – a professional relationship between two people or more people equally committed to achieving a shared purpose. But as time went on, as we talked with more partners, as our ideas developed and our writing sharpened, the kind of connection we were writing about grew too big for the little partnership suitcase we were trying to squeeze into.
The more we experienced and heard from others, the foggier the word got as we more clearly recognized that the benefits of working together stretched far beyond the professional realm. Through the meaning, balance and support achieved from productive, constructive collaborations (more about this in a future blog), women weren’t just making work better – they were making life richer and more satisfying. Suddenly, our old stand-by “Partnership” didn’t measure up – too vague, too flat, too loaded with multiple meanings (and baggage). It was sounding more and more like a stop on the road to something grander, but what? Where?
A long search for the just right word ensued. And while we won’t bore you with the details, what emerged from a dream one of us had was a simple term that captured the dynamism of this relationship between women equally committed to putting ego aside, sharing the helm, trusting each other, listening, speaking honestly, providing and accepting support and wading through conflict together in order to achieve a shared dream. The word is Powership. The more we use it, the clearer it gets. We hope it packs the same punch for you.
Powership: a productive, equitable collaboration built on trust, constructive communication and reciprocal support.