Dalton was Right
(One of the 83 quick and practical life & work lessons from Sh*t Sandwich: Quick & Practical Success Lessons for Practically Anyone.)
As you grow in business you’ll learn there are basically two types of successful people: Those true superstars who execute well with a never-say-can’t attitude; and those of average intelligence who are basically okay at their jobs, but are perceived as really, really nice guys.
In business, nice guys don’t finish last. In fact, being nice can compensate for an average intelligence, lack of output, and even poor work ethic. Although we’ve touched on the “be nice” concept a couple of times, I want to make sure you understand what I mean by “be nice.”
Be is a verb. This means you may have to cause yourself to be nice – it won’t come naturally for everyone. I think the late-great Patrick Swayze’s character Dalton says it best when he’s training his bouncers at the Double Deuce in Roadhouse:
“If somebody gets in your face and calls you a cocksucker, I want you to be nice. Ask him to walk. Be nice. If he won’t walk, walk him. But be nice. If you can’t walk him, one of the others will help you, and you’ll both be nice. I want you to remember that it’s a job. It’s nothing personal… I want you to be nice until it’s time to not be nice.”
If a bouncer in a rowdy bar who is called nasty names while breaking up a fight is expected to be nice, then why can’t we?
As Dalton said, it’s a job – it’s nothing personal.
If someone is a jerk to you at the office, be nice. If they treat you like crap and won’t include you in anything, be nice.
Just. Be. Nice.
You still need to work towards your goals, but you can do this and be nice at the same time, right? Like most advice in this book, you just need to try it for 30 days; and, if there’s no noticeable change, keep trying it for the rest of your life. People – from the top boss down to the entry-level worker like nice people; they want to be around nice people; you will be absolutely amazed at how much more important it is to be liked than to be good.
(Oh, and when should you not be nice? Dalton will tell you.)