More Champagne, please


downloadIt was an early-morning flight to Brisbane.  The severe storms in Sydney meant delays, long queues and grumpy passengers.  The crew came around offering coffee and tea.  The man next to me, with a smile and cheeky glint, said “Any Champagne, please?” The hostess replied, laughing: “It’s a bit early for the C word!” They bantered back and forth and soon everyone around them was.  She returned shortly after and pressed a bottle of Champagne into his hands and he was delighted.  Ahh – it does pay to be charming!

Nobody knows this more than Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval, who work in one of the toughest industries: advertising.  They share their success secrets in their New York Times bestseller The Power of Nice.

Kaplan and Thaler believe our culture propagates social Darwinism: a ‘me versus you’ mentality.  They moved to the top of the industry by behaving contrary to conventional wisdom: by being nice.  They have, over a decade, built up the Kaplan Thaler Group to one billion in billings, using chocolates and flowers rather than pitchforks and spears.

It’s a simple yet powerful philosophy. They also agree ‘nice’ has an image problem.  Nice gets no respect.  Kaplan and Thaler convincingly argue, however, that nice is the toughest four-letter word you can use in business, as it means moving forward with clear-eyed confidence when you place other peoples’ needs equal to your own.

Nice people do finish first.  (And enjoy the Champagne!)

What is your experience?  Do nice people finish first?

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2 Comments
  • Jo Brown
    Reply

    Yamini, this week I have just sent my male colleague a bunch of”Man” flowers to recognize some great above and beyond work he did last week. This is nothing unusual as we work in a values based culture and Recognition is one of our values, however I deliberated over how they would be received. This is something I do on a regular basis be it chocolate, wine or even just a photo or word of inspiration. As I Leader I am often described as “nice” depending on who is using the words depends on how I respond or react.

    After reading this weeks post I am happy to just be “Nice” because for me nice works.

    Thank You for sharing

    • Yamini Naidu
      Reply

      Joe thank you so much for sharing and people who have you as their leader are very fortunate. This philosoohy totally resonates with me and like you this is how I operate in the world and wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks for your comment, and more importantly your values and behaviour. The world and definitely leadership needs more leaders like you.
      Best wishes
      Yamini

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