Thursday, November 21, 2013

Book Review: Nice Guys can get the Corner Office

The Book Nice Guys can Get the Corner Office by Russ Edelman, Timothy Hiltabiddle, and Charles Manz delves into the concept that nice guys often allow the self-interest of others to damage their careers and steal their opportunities. Nice guys are naturally seeking to do what is right but they unfortunately live within a world where not so nice guys seek personal advantage without following the golden rules. In society, we have unfortunately rewarded such poor behavior at our own corporate and economic peril. 

Sixty percent of people feel they are too nice in the workplace. This belief includes the concept that nice guys have morals, compassion, and sincerity but are often drowned out by more needy members. Once nice guys decide to put their foot down they become an asset to an organization as they have the right values mixed with enough conflict management abilities to ensure their voice is heard. 

The chapters are broken up to Self-Awareness, Speaking-up, Set Boundaries, Confront, Choose, Expect Results, Be Bold, and Win. Each person should be first self-aware about how their positive disposition is a possible door mat invitation for others to wipe their feet. Human needs are endless and without a check and a balance people will continue to take advantage of others in their search for self gratification.

Once someone is aware they can speak up and make their needs known it changes their viewpoint. Doing so gives others the opportunity to understand that there is more than one person in the room. If the other person simply discards their needs the nice guy will naturally need to confront the other person and set boundaries. If they cross those boundaries there will be further confrontation and they will take appropriate action. 

Within any group of people there are those that seek self-gratification at the cost of just about everything in their environment. They have not learned or set limits for themselves based upon a lack of an internal compass. In a “me first” world it is necessary to remind others that they have responsibilities to act civilly and in the spirit of a greater good. That doesn’t mean they don’t have rights to earn the things they need but that such pursuits should not be so consuming as to burn in flames the world around them. 

Nice guys are an asset to any organization and know how to play nicely with others. Unfortunately, who are often promoted are the least intelligence, least capable, and the most demanding members of an organization. Nice guys should learn to stand up and say “no” in order to ensure that their needs are satisfied. Through the development of equitable work relationships organizations can flourish as each person searches out performance opportunities to succeed while keeping the bigger picture in mind. 

Edelman, et. al. (2008) Nice guys can get the corner office. UK; Penguin Books

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