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The Trouble With Being Nice

April 27, 2010

A few years back I was advised by a mentor to toughen up, to challenge people more.

It was hard news to take, being a life-long consensus builder and a recovering people-pleaser. I liked being nice.

I like to be liked. 

But in business, or in any leadership capacity, we are not called so much to be nice, but to move a team forward to some greater end. Which innevitably means that you will find yourself dealing with some not-so-nice situations, like sticking to an opinion in the face of outright criticism and dissent. Or confronting unethical and destructive behavior.  Or firing poor performers.

In a word, leadership requires conviction – a sense of doing the right thing, which trumps niceness.

To continue reading, click here to head over to my post at The High Calling Blogs.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 29, 2010 9:20 am

    nice photo 😉

  2. April 29, 2010 11:11 am

    “Always be nice to secretaries. They are the real gatekeepers in the world.”

    Anthony J. D’Angelo
    (Founder of The Collegiate EmPowerment Company and creator of The Inspiration Book Series)

  3. Gretchen permalink
    May 2, 2010 12:00 am

    Read Andrew Turners post. Left following comment: “Great post. Being nice in and of itself is the posterchild of disaster in a leadership position. People what leadership that is effectual. Again… a pleasure to read.”

    Glad you took this topic up. Qualities I look for in leadership in the corporate world and mentoring are not embodied in the word “nice.” “Nice” is not equivalent to repect, knowledge, fairness, compassion, or affirmation. I have come to learn through personal experience that in an effort to be nice and people please– it becomes quite murky waters that I don’t like to revisit.

    Again.. great topic

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