(By the way – this one works for Leadership too!)

We’ve been talking almost exclusively lately on entrepreneurial topics, and in fact, I’ve got the updated Entrepreneurial Qualities survey just about ready to go.

Before we dive headlong back into a new survey with it’s results and commentary, I want to take a side trip into Personal Excellence.  With this post, let’s talk about how to build a strong foundation for your commitment to personal excellence.  Remember that commitment you made?

Sometimes it’s the simple things that are the best, and the foundation I want you to lay today with this post is no different.  In fact, your Mom probably told you this one years ago.  I don’t know where they get it from, but mothers are the true personal development gurus of the world, all you have to do is listen.

Just be nice.

“You’ve got to be kidding me, right Dave?”  Nope – that’s it.

Just be nice.

First of all, you think being nice is easy?  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Sadly, you will be in the minority of most of the people you interact with on a daily basis.  Certainly, not everyone is downright mean.  But not many are nice.  It’s hard to be nice.  It takes guts, and it will certainly take determination.  You’ll be called a pollyanna, you’ll be seen as weak by your boss, there are people that will probably not take you as seriously as they would otherwise. I’m sure there are a few readers out there shaking their heads a bit even as they read this.

Just be nice.

I have yet to see a situation that no matter how difficult, how contentious or chaotic, can’t be made a bit easier with a dose of kindness or consideration.  Anger will only escalate the situation.  While a kind word may not work miracles, there are times when it does.

Just be nice.

Let’s be pragmatic.  What is your goal?  Are you trying to build and grow your business?  Who do you think your employees will give 110% for day in and day out?  The boss who continues to demean or insult, or the boss who encourages and responds positively to challenge?  Are you trying to build or maintain healthy, positive relationships in your life?  You can bet your future that anger, guilt and defensiveness won’t get you there.  Consideration and kindness may not solve every relationship challenge, but it sure is a heck of a good start.

The fact of the matter is, and I’ll admit I’m biased on this, as we move through our personal and professional lives, a healthy dose of “nice” makes everything better.  It may take some getting used to and sadly it may seem to take more energy at first than the anger and frustration you are used to feeling throughout your day, but if you try it for a couple weeks you may find it actually makes things easier.