The definition of the word 'partner' refers one quickly to shared risks and rewards.
From the pages of history, Shackleton's intrepid team-building stands as an exemplar of this dual-motivation to unrivalled performance and team achievement.
The "hazardous journey" referred to in a 1914 recruitment advertisement published before his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition stoked fear of hazards to life and limb, no doubt, but it also heralded the possibilities of discovery by promising "honour and recognition in case of success."
The pursuit of the right business partners, and the effective balancing of risks and rewards to inspire team performance and business unit growth is ever more taking centre stage in the lives of leaders and companies these days. This, as the global economy continues to fight its way back from the brink of darkness that envelopes the Polar Regions for months at a time each year.
So what are you willing to risk to reach the results your enterprise needs?
The investments, resource allocations and business development activities you prioritise now may pay off months - maybe even years - from now. And though you may preoccupy yourself with the "What if's?" related to poor decisions, the pace of business growth around you may counter such second-guessing.
It may well be riskier, business leaders may realise, to stay the current course or stick to the status quo than to venture into uncharted waters.
Much in the same way a diversified investor must make some foundational decisions about the kinds of instruments and markets he or she wants to enter to deliver the yield they want, so, too, must today's executive spread risk effectively, but not without some emphasis on sectors or stocks that beckon real opportunity.
Data can make decisions and options clearer, but often, data only offer clues to a payoff or return on investment. The challenge in today's business climate to is gather the data to identify plausible ways forward and connect each to a somewhat amorphous dividend.
At the end of the day, conviction, confidence and a bit of faith can help guide tough decisions. They're also the stuff that can earn you the respect of peers and preserve your reputation if things well intentioned don't go quite according to plan.