Dancing happens, dancing is
always in the present.
—Peter Martins
Keeping the
Magic in Motion
iamese twins!” whispered the silver-headed,
elegantly dressed woman to her friend seated
beside her. “They dance like two people who
are one.” Her colleague nodded with enthusiastic
agreement as they watched the two dancers merge,
spin, disengage, reemerge in a human blend as
harmonious as light with shadow. “They are
magic in motion,” the friend whispered back.
stuff of which broken records,
new standards, and bar-raising
are made.
“Partnership squared” in
action yields a state of tingly
exultation and blissful joy. As
the president of a prominent
Tennessee company said of
his great relationship with the
CEO of a partnered company:
“When [the partnership] hits
on all cylinders, it’s extraordi-
nary and downright intoxi -
cating. We wish we could
memorize the formula for
sustaining the flow of this
partnership. It is an awesome
experience. If the feeling was
fine whiskey, I’d not only get
to know the bootlegger. Hell,
I’d buy the still!”
But where does this state of
rapture originate? Is there—as
our Tennessee friend
implies—a secret formula?
Not really. You can’t program
human relationships like soft-
ware or cook them up from a
recipe like some gourmet dish.
Partnerships are always divine
relationships in the making.
As we’ve said earlier, they are
hopeful pursuits of magic, not
efforts valued only at the
finale. Just as life comes with-
hat is world-class
partnering “magic in
motion”? It encompasses
that state of ecstasy when
partners find themselves so
completely “in the groove”
their ideas blend without stir-
ring. It is a oneness so pure
that partners complete each
other’s sentences and seem
able to almost read each
other’s minds. It is rare, it is
distinctive, and it is an unmis-
takable, exhilarating high.
There are many ways to
label this special feeling.
Athletes call it “playing over
your head,” dancers refer to it
as being “hot” or “on,” artists
call it “flow” or being in sync
with the muses. We call it
“partnership squared”! To the
outside observer, it truly is
“magic in motion.”
Regardless of the label, the
feeling is an energetic, sparkly
magical current of energy
which propels you to your
highest levels of excellence.
And the output of “partner-
ship squared” is generally the
out instructions, there are no
surefire guarantees of partner-
ship perfection if you simply
“follow the drill.” There are
some guideposts, though, that
can help lead you toward part-
nership greatness.
Tapping the Source
Partnership impeccably per-
formed looks like “magic in
motion.” To spectators on the
outside, the flow seems magi-
cal. To the participants in the
midst of the collaborative cur-
rent that same flow feels like
a spiritual surprise.
The inner workings of part-
nerships, however, are far
from magical. Like a great
dance performance, the
“show” is an orchestrated
demonstration of proficiencies
and disposition. Both skill and
attitude must work in harmo-
ny for a winning presentation.
A technically accurate dancer
with no showmanship or flair
would be as unsuccessful as
a bumbling amateur with
personality plus.
“Dancing” is our label for
the zenith of partnership. The
climax of great partnerships is
a toe-curling rapture that
leaves participants longing for
ways to keep it going. Like
most magical moments, the
pinnacle of great partnership
is plenty long on magic but
too short on moment. The
overriding goal is to sustain
the exultation.
Dance greatness is a bril-
liant combination of heart and
head. Sustained distinction
requires far more than simply
finding the groove and riding
it to the end. Enduring emi-
nence transpires through the
dancers’ balance of soul and
smartness . . . and diligence!
Partnership is the same.
Partnership greatness is main-
tained through unrelenting
spirit and hardworking logic.
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