Like It’s Your Job: Building Strategic Partnerships in Business and Beyond

Astute entrepreneur, start-up advisor, business owner and expert negotiator Melethia Campbell Tuggle is the Owner and President of Robin Steel, LLC. She knows the value of strategic partnerships in setting a business up for success, and she shared her insights and experiences with Matt and David Shields on this episode of Like It’s Your Job.

Tuggle’s 15 years at Microsoft provided her with a lot of experience in forming strategic partnerships and pioneering deals that positioned Microsoft as the preferred platform for first-rate advertisers and publishers. But, before Microsoft and straight out of college, Tuggle learned how to negotiate at Lockheed Martin.

“The first job that I had was to be a negotiator for the F16 fighter program,” Tuggle said. “And that’s where I discovered my love for negotiation. It was an absolute perfect fit for me. So, that’s when I knew I was really meant to be a negotiator.”

When Tuggle moved over to Microsoft, it was to work in their gaming division, where she helped launch the Xbox and cemented her love and passion for entrepreneurship and building strategic partnerships.

So, what are strategic partnerships, and how can businesses benefit from forming such unions?
“A strategic business partnership occurs when two non-competing businesses agree to leverage their complementary strengths for mutual benefit,” Tuggle said. “And one of the things to remember about this is these businesses are independent. And this can have a tremendously positive impact on any companies looking expedite growth.”

Tuggle believes winning partnerships result in synergy. According to Tuggle, synergy is a term used in the 17th century to describe the cooperation between human will and divine grace. “I think it is so interesting that such a popular business buzzword isn’t rooted in business at all.”

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