Adam Grant from the Atlantic has a great piece up about how people succeed professionally by helping others in the workplace. While the short term benefits seem slim (especially if you are a woman), the long term benefits become apparent very quickly in the form of higher sales and revenue. Why?
When I wrote the book, I attributed the long-term success of givers to two major forces: relationships and motivation. From a relationship perspective, givers build deeper and broader connections. When a salesperson truly cares about you, trust forms, and you’re more likely to buy, come back for repeat business, and refer new customers. From a motivation perspective, helping others enriches the meaning and purpose of our own lives, showing us that our contributions matter and energizing us to work harder, longer, and smarter. When medical students focus on helping others, they’re able to weather the slings and arrows of long hours and devastating health outcomes: they know their colleagues and patients are depending on them.
Even more important than this is the fact that people that help out more are reflective and learn. Taking on more duties and picking up the slack for other workers translates into a larger skill set and the perception of being indispensable.
Perhaps all of this means that nice guys actually do finish first!