Mr. Nice Guy

“We’re living proof that nice guys always finish last.” —Matthew Cooper

Who doesn’t like to be liked?  Life seems to be a lot better when you believe that everyone really likes you and you are seen as to be a very nice person!  It is important to be nice, but there are moments in which you have to get it in your head that being nice will get you absolutely nowhere!

I started out with managing a company and was determined to be nice to everyone making the work environment a positive place to be and to instil in everyone the vision of maintaining a good standard of cleanliness and organization.  This is all a wonderful plan, only one little problem, not everyone has the company at heart, many are just present in body from the time they clock in until they clock out, and the only real interest they have is to fulfill the bare minimum in order to get their pay check at the end of the month.

Wishing to make it clear what standard was expected I would make sure that everything was done to perfection and so I would spend time to leave a good example to the next shift of employees so that they could witness, through my example, what should be expected of them once they took on their slot.  Well I soon found out that people will be people and most of them truly do love work… they would watch it all day long!  The message that I was hoping to portray was strangely misread, the others were happy that I was willing to go the extra mile so that they could take it a bit easier!  I was simply trying to lead by example and be a nice guy to show my willingness to do the work that they too were expected to do.

I am not saying that you need to be mean in order to be a good manager and that being nice is not something to be as a person, but there are moments and positions and places where you have to not have the illusion that others will appreciate your kind acts.  The fact of the matter is, at your work place, you will be talked about in a negative way regardless of how nice you are.  If you want to get things accomplished you need to be pleasantly firm otherwise you will find that the roles will be inadvertently reversed, you will be dancing to the tune of your co-workers.

By being too easy-going you will be doing no one a favor, not yourself nor those you need to oversee.  They will never grow into more responsible individuals and you will never be a good manager or entrepreneur by trying to be “Mr. Nice Guy”.  Be nice, yes, but don’t forget the reason you were hired or why you are in the position that you are in!  The boss is always looked at through crossed eyes no matter how “nice” he might be, unless you happen to have some amazingly mature employees who have their work truly at heart.

Have you ever tried to be nice and ended up confused why it didn’t quite work out?

2 Replies to “Mr. Nice Guy”

  1. Absolutely Rusty which is why staying in corporate America became less and less of a place I wanted to be. I just had a much higher work ethic than most people and the rest of them only wanted to come in, do their work and leave as soon as possible. While they were there they gossiped, back stabbed and were incredibly lazy.

    When you are a nice person to begin with, it’s confusing why some people are this way. If you want a manager, boss or entrepreneurial role then you have to put on your big boy pants and play with the big guys. It’s okay to be nice but you can just never let them run over you.

    I sympathize with you Rusty!

    1. Yes, you of course you want to be nice, as that is how you are as a person, but you can’t “put your hair down” with certain individuals as they simply can’t handle it. I think that certain places where they create a culture and make it in such a way that to be a part of the company you need to play it by their standard, things might be easier that way. But to get it to that point takes a lot of work! I read about Zappos and how they worked hard to make their whole operation customer service oriented building that culture in their business and would pay people to leave who didn’t fit into that culture. Interesting, but NOT easy for sure! Thank you for your visit and comment! Have a wonderful day!

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