Note: Just being nice is not a clever substitute to being truly valuable. You need to be both. So, please don’t take this to an extreme [ Please refer: Just being NICE is not enough]
I still remember that conversation with Tim Sanders (who is one of the nicest people I have met anyway) several years ago. He said, “nice guys finish first.” This was probably in 2003 or 2004. I didn’t get that at that time. But the concept intrigued me and I observed time and again that nice people win BIG TIME in the long run. So this was part of my mini-research (less than 6 weeks) and I am happy to present the outcome of my research in this blog post.
If you enjoyed the outcome of my research, please consider sending this to someone nice and make their day. We need them to continue to be nice make this world a better place!!!!!
So, let us start with the basic premise:
In many ways, just like water finds its level, people find tribes that they are comfortable with. These tribes change with time but generally most people within a tribe are at the same level when it comes to the “capacity to perform in the marketplace.” When people with similar capacities are in a tribe, there is a “flow.” When there is an inconsistency or a frequency mis-match, the person who seems out of place tries to disengage from the tribe voluntarily or involuntarily.
It is a not a good thing or a bad thing – as over a period of time, the tribe in general evolves and the tribe settles to a particular “capacity to perform” range.
So, if you don’t do anything you will just drift along with the tribe to higher levels of “capacity to perform” in the marketplace. You can attribute that to “progress” or “experience” or whatever you want to call it.
However you view it, you will find yourself in that range of “capacity to perform” simply because the conversations you are having on a daily basis have a huge influence on your actions and the tribe determines the nature of those daily conversations.
It is hard to jump to the next tribe even if you want to. Why?
1. You will feel out of place
2. The tribe will not know how to deal with you as they have to change the “frequency” and “type” of conversations with you.
3. There is no incentive for the higher level tribe to accommodate you.
Now, this is very the magic happens for super-nice (and smart) people.
They make an exception by getting a seat in the next level tribe earlier than not-so-nice people.
The higher level tribe makes an exception too. They go out of the way to accommodate super-nice people who can potentially add value in the future. They are willing to invest in bringing you up to their level.
This is where you have an unfair advantage. In a crude way, you jump the queue to belong to the next-level-tribe quicker.
Let us just think for a minute what happens when you get access to the next level tribe earlier than your peers.
First, your conversations change as you will have different
Second, your conversations will start raising your level of awareness on topics that are “obvious” or “background knowledge” for tribes at a higher level
Third, Based on this new awareness and you start becoming more comfortable to having more such conversations and more importantly your “actions” will change.
Fourth, Your “results” will start to change and will start reflecting the results of the people in the higher level tribe.
Fifth, Soon you will be VERY comfortable belonging in the higher level tribe.
Sixth, After a while you simply become a member of this new tribe without even knowing that you jumped the queue.
OK I can go on..but you get the point. Continue to be super-nice and valuable and you will start jumping the queue and getting into next level tribes faster than people who are super-nice. [Also Refer: Ways to Distinguish Yourself #10 – Pursue Right Memberships]
In the short-term, where someone who is NOT super-nice (A) and someone who is super-nice (B) reach in their careers is not very different. So you may not notice the advantage of being super-nice. But five or ten years from now, where A and B have reached is very different. The person who is super-nice is far ahead of the other person. This is precisely the reason I said – nice people will win BIG in the long run.
I am sure you are all nice people. So the request is for you to be continue to be nice and NOT give up on it. In the short-term you may not see a difference but in the long run, you have an unfair competitive advantage to win BIG.
Have a great day.
P.S: If you want to see the outcome of my previous mini-research project, please take a look at:
Why some smart people are reluctant to share?
P.P.S: If you want to learn more about Tribes, please read “Tribes” by Seth Godin. It’s more about leading a tribe but a lot of it applies to belonging a tribe too.