Of all the qualities I admire in a person, it’s the simple habit of “being nice”. I see this in the greatest leaders who leave their egos behind and are nice to whomever they come into contact with. Simple things matter. Last fortnight I met with a top CEO in Singapore. He’s a highly accomplished leader, 30 years in industry, but answers each and every email of his promptly. That is wonderful compared to some leaders who respond to email that only benefits them (completely missing out on the “bank” of good will that comes from valuing relationships). A week before our meeting I was surprised to receive an email from him giving very specific instructions to his office address, alternative means of getting there (taxi and mrt) and a cheery “looking forward to seeing you soon” end to his mail. In this day and age I don’t think many CEOs would bother to take the time to do that. When I met him, I was not disappointed. He was courteous, a great listener and also a great enabler. Very knowledgable and had a very clear and productive point on the topic on our agenda. As I always do, I followed up our meeting with a nice thank you note. He responded with the decision I was hoping for. Alignment reached. So often we miss the opportunity to be nice to someone, when it costs us just maybe 2 to 3 mins more but leaves an impression for a lifetime. The management experts call these “soft skills.” I simply call it good upbringing. Thank you Mr. CEO for your directions to your office. Truly appreciate it. You are amazing. Nice job! We work with very many CEOs and senior executives in our day to day interaction. These are leaders with big personalities, big roles, big challenges, big impact. Of all the qualities that distinguish the truly memorable and great ones to work with, being nice is the easiest one to spot. Its also the easiest predictor of long term success. If YOU think back over YOUR career, I’m positive that you will find a clear correlation between the NICER bosses you have had and the positive response and impact it has on your career. You’ll also find a direct correlation between a leaders network and his personal power of being nice. You’ll also find a direct correlation between a “not so nice” boss and talent retention (or lack of it) on his direct and indirect teams. Go check. Nice guys never finish last. ——————————————————————————————– w: