Friday, November 12, 2010

Why Nice People Are More Successful

There is a lie out there that only mean people get to the top. That the way to be a CEO or a 'big wig' in any way is to bamboozle your way there. To tramp on others and to abuse the hurting. To throw away your morals and compromise in order to do what it takes to get there.

I believe wholeheartedly that the opposite is true. Yes, there are a few bad people who have made it in this world by being bad. But they are the exception rather than the rule. They are on slippery ground (Psalm 73) and it is only a matter of time for them. The vast majority of super-successful people that I have met are simply wonderful people. Does it seem too fantastic to believe that the reason they are successful is partially because they are fantastic people? Maybe the way to the top is by being a wonderful person. Things like working hard, being kind to others, being personally disciplined, thinking of others first and putting the company ahead of my personal interests are all things that any boss would like to see in order to promote. They are also things customers like to see if they are going to continue to be customers.

Even (maybe especially) traits such as generosity, humility and godliness are actually helpful in getting ahead and being successful. I have known dozens of powerful, high-up people in grand positions not because they are mean spirited and stepped on others to get there, but because they live the principles of wisdom that any wonderful person ought to live.

It is tempting to believe that people who are ahead of us somehow cheated to get there, but the truth is, most of the people who are ahead of us are ahead of us because they deserve to be.

So what's to learn from all of this? First, we can learn to live the traits of successful people and be more successful ourselves. Second, we can quit whining about how unfair life is and just do our best with what we have. Third, we can help those who have less than us regardless of whether it is because they deserve to be there or because of 'bad luck'. Finally, we can count our blessings and be careful not to take too much credit for where we  are.

Take responsibility for where you are...not credit.