Ode to Stan, AKA dont be a jerk

My friend Stan is a nice guy. A really nice guy who, despite his niceness, moved pretty far up the corporate ladder in his 30 year career in packaged goods. Early in (and repeatedly throughout) his career, he was advised to be an asshole to get ahead. He didn’t, and yet, he got ahead. It’s simple really. He didn’t have to divert energy or attention to build the asshole facade advocated by some of his jaundiced leaders and peers. Instead, he was himself, and harnessed his energy to do good work and inspire others to do good work too.

You don’t need to be a jerk to get ahead, especially if you’re not a jerk by nature. If you are a jerk by nature, good luck to you. Because most people I know (and boy are some of them really talented) would rather do good work for Stan than for you.