Doug Sandler says it is possible to be “Nice” and rise to the top in every aspect of your life.
Had you told me two years ago that I was going to create a “Nice Guy” blog, curate nearly four hundred pieces of content, start a podcast, record over one hundred episodes, put pen to paper and publish a book about the lessons I have learned over the thirty years I’ve been in business, I surely wouldn’t have believed you. Two years ago, I wasn’t quite sure that people would actually believe that nice guys finish first. I think most people would hope we would finish somewhere in the top tier, but likely we, the nice, would finish in last place. Don’t nice guys finish last? Personally, I think not.
I’ve invested my energy, focused my time and worked hard to support my theory that nice guys finish first. I’ve gotten emails, comments and text messages from people all over the world who have helped support my message and I am amazed at how many others share the same feelings about how being nice has helped shape their lives as well.
I believe now more than ever that being nice is not just a pleasant approach to life, but rather, being nice is the right way and the only way for people to be. Regardless of where you are in your life, personally or professionally, nice is right. Being nice is the answer to so many questions. Want to get ahead? Be nice. Want to achieve more? Be nice. Want to feel good about yourself and about others? Be nice. Most importantly, want to do the right thing? Be nice.
‘Nice guys finish first. If you don’t know that, then you don’t know where the finish line is.’ ~Gary Shandling
I feel, however, that I have not closed the loop in many of my lessons nor shared with you the meaning of nice as defined by the characteristics of a nice guy (or girl). Once you see the short list I have compiled, you can decide for yourself if you feel as I do about the importance of not only adding a healthy dose of nice into your life, but more so, making it your North Star, as I have, guiding me along my journey.
As I detail the list below I use the term “nice guy,” but in no way am I using the word guy to apply to men only. Instead, please see it as a generic, universal term that can be applied to all people. I guess I could just say nice people finish first, but I’ve been carrying this term “nice guys” for over two years, and I’d prefer not to mess with my SEO, so humor me.
Nice guys are transparent. What you see is what you get when it comes to nice guys. The hidden agenda is non-existent. Because of that, nice guys are able to develop stronger, longer lasting relationships.
Nice guys show gratitude. They appreciate what they have in their lives and do not take others for granted. Nice guys are more likely to find others doing something right than finding others doing something wrong. Their gratitude is genuine and they speak from the heart.
‘Nice guys are leaders that show the way,
not just point the way.’
Nice guys are consistent. Although you may not have the same beliefs as a nice guy, there is no doubt what a nice guy believes in because they are consistent in their approach to life. When someone is consistent they build a solid reputation because they become predictable.
Nice guys are trustworthy and honest. I’m pretty sure this one is obvious but it goes without saying that in order to be nice, one really needs to be honest, since being a lier is not a good practice when it comes to helping, supporting and doing the right thing.
Nice guys are leaders that show the way, not just point the way. You will often find nice guys rolling up their sleeves and working shoulder to shoulder with those they are leading. There is no more effective way to lead than by example and nice guys are great at walking the walk.
‘Mistakes are bound to happen,
it’s what happens next that really counts.’
Nice guys are humble. There is a difference between having a healthy self-esteem and having a big ego. No one likes a braggart although many people like an expert’s support, guidance and advice. Nice guys understand how to walk on the correct side of that line.
Nice guys are happy and positive. When you love life, it loves you back. Having a great attitude and a positive mindset attracts other happy, positive people to you and nice guys are all about the law of attraction.
Nice guys know how to say, “I’m sorry.” Mistakes are bound to happen, it’s what happens next that really counts. It is so much better to live and work in an environment when people are accountable and responsible for their actions and when a nice guy makes a mistake, the words, “I’m sorry.” are heartfelt and genuine.
Nice guys support and empower others. If you are looking for a shoulder to lean on, or advice, visit your friendly neighborhood nice guy. They look to help others around them and they glow in the victories of those that overcome adversity. Nice guys also like to see others build a healthy self-esteem, so they empower others and allow them to become part of the bigger picture.
‘Nice guys are more likely to find others doing something right
than finding others doing something wrong.’
Nice guys approach life as givers. If you go through life constantly taking, you put little or nothing back into it. People that take become hardened, entitled and callous, and take life for granted. If instead, you give, with no expectation of getting anything in return, the universe has a way of rewarding you in return. Try a simple exercise of praising someone for a period of several days when they do something right. As you make them feel good with your praise, notice how that makes you feel in return. Imagine how dozens or hundreds of people would feel if you praised them on a regular basis for a job well done. Whether you are giving praise, love, respect, time or anything else, it works the same way.
I’ve found, over the years, that being nice is the road less traveled. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Being nice is not a sign of weakness nor does it provide a license for others to walk on you. It also does not make you an easy mark or a “yes man.” I think people get confused and feel in order to succeed you need to be a tough leader, hard natured or an iron fisted commander. Not so. There are many examples of people that have made their way to the top being nice guys. I would argue that being nice is the only path worthy of being taken.
Previous version published on the Huffington Post