Nice is Bad

Be Better

I was recently venting to someone I care not to identify about a tough conversation I had with my project execution team. While I was expecting them to be impressed with my accomplishment, I was instead told I probably should have been nicer. NICER! WHAT!?!? Let me explain what “nice” stands for.

  • Nothing
  • Important,
  • Creative, or
  • Exceptional.

I am not nice. I am so much better than nice. Nice does not motivate people to work hard and be proud of their accomplishments everyday. Nice does not lead to brainstorming sessions where new possibilities are exposed. In Project Management, nice does not result in positive project memories.

I create very clear expectations about what needs to get done and when. Clearness is kind (Brene Brown said that so it must be true). Seriously, though, I am kind and I get to know my team very well. Getting to know their capabilities and goals allows me to have high, but not unreasonable expectations. I hold them to these expectations because I know they can get it done. I will be tough if people seem like they are being lazy, but I will help them however I can if they are struggling. I will not be nice. Instead, I will find creative solutions to important problems so we can have exceptional results.

They say “Nice guys finish last.” When nice Project Managers finish, no one remembers them and no one attributes any successes to them.

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