The Heather Gold Show: Partnership Rundown

LtoR: Jason Shellen, Zvi Septimus, Heather Gold and Judye Hess

The more I thought about Partnership, the more I saw it everywhere. Isn’t a job like a a marriage? Great interviews are like hot dates: “You’re ideas, we love your ideas! And your rolodex, yes yes!” And then 3 months in, that same manager is wondering why you’re also “yapping up” with suggestions and you can’t just keep your head down and underline the stuff you’ve been told to find. Aren’t Israel and Palestine literally stuck together without any hot sex to keep things going?

How do you grow with someone without giving up your self?

Jason Shellen from Google (previously from Blogger) has been doing deals and relationships for a while now in the professional realm. This is now called “new business development,” a position I used to hold myself at different companies. At some companies this looks a lot like sales (aka “pimping”). What this comes down to is that both companies benefit from the relationship in an ongoing way. It’s more than fee for services (which is legally + historically, what marriage looked like). Jason is married (in a life, not business kind of way) to Alison whom his been with since they were 18.

A chevrusah is a Talmudic study partnership. The Talmud is like the literary criticism of the Torah (Hebrew Bible) and studying it is a major part of life if you’re a relgioius Jewish man (the man is a traditional thing) or a PhD candidate in Jewish studies like UC Berkeley, doctoral candidate Zvi Septimus.
Zvi talked about his most traumatic chevrusah chevrusah experience:

Me, my chevrusah Yoni, his wife and his two kids, all moved to Israel together because we thought we’d be able to study better there. And then, like, a month into it, he gave me the “It’s not you, it’s me” speech.

It always happens right after you move for them.

Veteran couples counsellor Judye Hess (who brought her boyfriend of 81/2 years) had the line of the night.

“Judye, is there any way to keep a relationship good all the time?”


“Does that work,” asked Zvi?

“It works for my sister,” replied Judye.

Highlights and Links

  • God help my cynical roots, but here are books I found helpful. Just filter through the covers, fonts and much of the language for nuggets of truth
  • > The Dance of Anger – Harriet Lerner [there is a basic dynamic that you are always part of. When you chnge, your partner will absolutely change.]
  • >Passionate Marriage – David Schnarch [differentiation–holding on to yourself while in close connection with another–is the key to a healthy relationship and hot sex]
  • Zvi leads study with partners on Sundays at the Mission Minyan in San Francisco
  • The Cluetrain Manifesto. If markets are conversation, then all business is now relationships.
  • Judye: “It’s hard to put all your eggs in one basket.” Heather “Is that why relationships are so hard?” Judye: “Yes, especially if you count on this person for everything…Nobody can really fill the bill for anybody if you’ve gotta be everything.”