My former boss, mentor, and friend, Keith Dietzen, once shared with me a nugget he learned from his mentor, Tom Fitzmyers, now-retired CEO of the profitable publicly traded company Simpson Strong-tie. “What’s your secret to running such a successful business for so long, Tom?” Keith asked. Tom’s response: “Do business with nice people.”
Simple as that. Obviously a lot rides on your definition of ‘nice.’ Someone who is a pushover may be nice but they probably aren’t too effective at getting things done. But if ‘nice’ points to people who are honest, fair, kind, conscientious, and who strive to be good communicators, such people make all the difference.
Not just our staff and colleagues. But also our customers, our vendors, our consultants, our advisors. When it comes to the other people we depend on inside and outside of our organization (and indeed, our personal lives too), doing business with nice people makes all the gears turn more easily.