A Counter-Intuitive Approach to Business Success? Being Kind.
My latest article for Fast Company Magazine:
Kindness is not something that we tend to associate with getting ahead at work or business success. We all know the tired phrase, “nice guys finish last.” The association of success with ruthlessness means that for those who achieve massive success and wealth, many tend to assume that one doesn’t achieve that by “playing nice.” Many assume these individuals must have done something nefarious in their career that allowed them to get to where they are.
In the corporate world, “kindness” is generally not a prized soft skill. The perception of success is often confirmed by examples of authoritarian leadership in the workplace. We see successful and top-ranking leaders who got to where they are through office politics, stepping over competition, blaming their mistakes on others, and taking credit for others’ ideas. In other words, they are those who shout the loudest.
This idea of leadership is troublesome, since it stops other potential leaders, who don’t wish to adopt this behavior, from rising to the top.