Sometimes I think whoever came up with the whole “nice guys finish last” line was an actual nice guy who didn’t want anyone to find out their secret which is that nice guys finish first.
Now I know you’re thinking I must be wrong because we all know someone who’s incredibly mean or known for being a bad person, and they’re incredibly successful. But I promise you their success didn’t come to them because they were mean or terrible but despite it.
The truth is most people who are successful are also ambitious and sometimes, yes, people can be so ambitious that they don’t care who they hurt when it comes to getting what they want. But the fact of the matter is you can be ambitious and still be nice and not only can it be done, but being nice will help you be even more successful!
There was a time in my career when I was conducting interviews to fill a data entry position on our team. Some of the people that came in for the interview had horrible attitudes and really looked like they didn’t want to be there. Then this one guy came in, perhaps the most unqualified of the bunch and he said to me, “I want this job so bad, I’ll even sweep the floors on my downtime. I’ll be the best employee you’ve ever had!” He was so nice and down to earth, I was blown away by his positive, dedicated attitude that I hired him on the spot and he turned out to be amazing! The fact is – skill will always improve with time, but a bad attitude will only get worse, which makes nice people very valuable.
Even the largest corporation in the world is still ultimately made up of individuals, and among those individuals, even the most powerful executive is still ultimately just a person and at the end of the day, people want to work with and do business with nice people. So remember, nice guys don’t finish last, they finish first!