My Dad had a favourite joke about an imaginary interview with Hitler after his defeat, where the despot was asked what changes he would make if he could do it all over again. In the punchline he says, “next time, no more Mr Nice Guy!”

Thing is, in warfare or business, being nice isn’t a success trait.

By all means, build your empire on:

  • Kindness
  • Humility
  • Service
  • Value
  • Empathy

But niceness?

That might well skew your judgement when the RIGHT thing is:

  • Saying no to an unsuitable client
  • Not offering a discount when you feel sorry for them
  • Polarising your audience, risking upsetting some of them
  • Blocking people who are not in tune with your mission
  • Not giving free advice to everyone who asks for it

There’s more truth in my Dad’s silly joke than you might imagine.

No more Mr Nice Guy. Or Gal.

Jonny

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