“Nice guys finish first. If you don't know that, then you don't know where the finish line is.” - Garry Shandling
When the comedian Garry Shandling passed away recently. the outpouring of fond remembrances was overwhelming. Other comedians expressed sadness at his passing and spoke how Shandling helped them in some way.
The cynic might think that everyone was just following the old adage to never speak ill of the dead. However, in this day and age, there’s usually someone ready to criticize.
Based on looking at just a few of the comments about Shandling, you didn’t have to know him personally to realize that he must have been a nice man – not just to his family and close friends but to others who worked along with him in the entertainment industry. And to me that is the key. He wasn’t just nice to those closest to him, it seems that he was nice to everyone – even those that may have been seen as his competition.
I’ve had the good fortune to work with a lot of people at all levels of organizations throughout my career, and the ones I’ve admired the most are the nice ones. They recognize that being nice isn’t just something they reserve for their family and close friends – that being nice it is an integral part of their work and their business. They don’t speak ill of their competitors, they recognize that their employees or co-workers have personal lives, and they know that any success from cheating is short-lived.
The truly nice people in our personal and work lives aren’t nice because it’s a tactical action to achieve some strategic objective of success.
They are nice because that’s how they want to live their life. And that is the way we will remember them.