Nice Guys Finish First
Last week, I received a large response to David’s story in Issue No. 003, Fear Your Salesperson. In particular, readers wanted to learn more about Nice Person Syndrome.
Being a nice person becomes a liability when leaders engage in Employee Neglect, the workplace equivalent of child neglect. Employee Neglect occurs when leaders:
- Are not consistently holding team members accountable.
- Justify or make excuses when expectations are not being met.
- Delay or avoid reprimands or terminations that are prudent and necessary.
Engaging in Employee Neglect keeps people from reaching their true potential and hampers their ability to make a full contribution in jobs. Yet, managers are often inconsistent in requiring employees to consistently meet or exceed their quotas and commitments. Why? It does not feel nice to hold someone else accountable.
Nice Person Syndrome is cunning, common, and contagious since, in the moment, avoiding the discomfort of holding someone accountable feels much more comfortable. Yet, this comes back to bite everyone involved － the employee is not on track, the authority of the leader is undermined, and the company is not getting what it paid for.
So, what’s a nice guy, or gal, to do? You can’t turn off being a nice person, nor should you. The first thought of a nice person, more often than not, will almost always focus on all the reasons to avoid accountability conversations. So be it. You are not responsible for your first thought; you simply must take the next right action. Changing your thinking is difficult, if not impossible. However, we are in complete control of the choices we make and the actions we take.
Nice guys, and gals, really do finish first, as do their employees. As long as they let their actions, not their thinking, guide them through the day.
This Week’s Radical Accountability Activating Action: Remember that you are not responsible for your first thought, but you are responsible for doing the next right thing. Watch for those thoughts and then immediately do what’s needed in the most compassionate way you can.
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