#128: To Succeed, Don’t Play Nice at Work

Do you work for a nice organization? You do? I’m so sorry to hear that.

Nice is not always successful.

Here’s why. In organizational life, nice normally means nice to work with. And nice to work with too often means people like you, meaning people who are like you like you.

What do you get when you have likeable people who are too alike? You get people who make the same perceptual errors. They ignore the same threats and miss the same opportunities.

It gets worse. In nice organizations, managers tend to be too soft on non-performers because they lack the sense and courage to do the not-nice thing. The not-nice outcome is that everybody underperforms.

If you want success, don’t encourage nice.

Encourage people to care so much about success that they overcome their liking to deal with any colleague who is not delivering.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.