I’ve noticed a theme in my life lately, and it has a great deal to do with your ability to lead successfully. The theme is simply stated by the slogan on the t-shirt I wore last Friday night as trick or treaters came by our home.
“Just Be Nice”
I love the shirt and the message, because I believe that we all need to be reminded sometimes the importance of being nice.
Earlier last week I was in a conversation in my office. A visitor asked me to list the things I look for when hiring or otherwise bringing someone onto my team. One of the five attributes I listed was “being nice.” He immediately asked if I meant “personable.” I thought briefly then agreed with him. I wish now I could take back that agreement.
The third event of last week that points to the them of being nice, is the guest post that I wrote entitled, Decency – One Step in Leadership Development.
While I am among the most optimistic people I know, I believe that generally speaking, we are being less nice these days.
“Just Be Nice” – is clearly one of the most under-appreciated leadership activities.
Personable is good as is decency. But what I want on my team is nice people. This doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to be passionate about their beliefs or shy away from conflict. It means they are nice. Nice to each other and nice to Customers. I know that if I want a culture of collegiality, of interaction, of nice; I, as the leader must be a role model of nice.
When I am nicer, I build teams, communicate, develop others, coach, and influence more effectively – all important behaviors for me as a leader.
Your task today is to think about the behavior of being nice. Consider it to be the leadership skill you focus on today (and this week). Make note of how often you observe it – and how consistently you are being it.
It may not be the flashiest or sexiest leadership development idea you consider this week, but it is a good leadership skill – something that will make a positive difference in your leadership success and your personal life as well.
Just Be Nice.