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Nice Guys and Gals Finish First!

May 1, 2018
Have you ever heard someone say, “Nice Guys Finish Last!”? Ever been to a funeral for a MEAN guy? Not too many people attending.

Have you ever heard someone say, “Nice Guys Finish Last!”?  Ever been to a funeral for a MEAN guy?  Not too many people attending.  I have been fascinated by the topic of leadership for over twenty years.  I’ve read books by championship coaches in sports (Bill Belichick, Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach, John Wooden), in business (Jack Welch, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Alfred P. Sloan) and politics (Teddy Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan).

They all have a number of things in common. Here are a few ideas to improve your culture borrowed from the best contractors from around the globe and from some of the best leaders.

Ask and answer:

1) Where is the bus going?

2) Who is on the bus?

3) Are they in the right seat?

Once you have those key questions answered, move on to developing and accelerating your workforce:

  • Train and educate your associates like crazy. Create your own curriculum -- an “In-house University” -- and require 50 hours of technical training and 50 hours of SOFT SKILLS training a year.
  • Put pictures on the wall of your associates; it will play a big part of your positive culture.
  • Celebrate the success of others in unique ways and share in the financial gain.
  • Measure everything. Reward what you want repeated; it’s the greatest management principle in the world.
  • Promote from within whenever possible.
  • Make certain your facilities are world-class: clean, organized, and shiny.
  • Become innovative marketers and use shopping-list pads, letter openers, mugs, pens, newsletters, coloring books for kids, water bottles, sunglasses, shopping bags, and magnets with their logo. The list goes on and on. The most successful business leaders know that the name of the marketing game is “remember me” and they do it as well as anyone in their industry.
  • Build your company on service agreements and inspire everyone to sell and market the company 24/7/365.
  • True servant leaders do lots of little things to make people feel good. In a word, they practice “Acknowledgment and Recognition”!
  • Be a nice guy or gal. It really is true, NICE GUYS AND GALS FINISH FIRST!

It doesn’t cost any more to be nice; it’s a long-term strategy for success. I love doing book signings after I make a presentation. It’s my favorite part of the process. I get feedback and it makes both my audience and me feel good. Taking extra time is good business, for the long-term. You just never know.  Do want to take your company to the next level? Be nice. Be nice to your employees and your customers. Take the time to go the extra mile. Work harder than anyone else to be nice. If it works for Coaches, CEO’s and Politicians, maybe it will work for you…

To learn more about leadership principles and industry best practices, and to receive a complimentary leadership training package, visit

Mark Matteson is an international bestselling author, as well as a founding faculty member of EGIA Contractor University ( His latest book, Freedom from Fat, was published in December 2017. To watch Mark’s demo video or order one of his books, go to: To book Mark to speak to your company or gathering, call 206-697-0454 or email [email protected]

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