Study finds nice people sometimes win


The perception is that they finish last, but "jerk perks" are overrated, reports Olga Kazan: "other research shows that in many situations, it pays to be nice. Not because it helps other people, but because it helps you."

It's not just Rand's studies that celebrate workplace menches. People in all industries increasingly desire leaders who are more like Gandhi and less like Gordon Gekko. As I wrote last year, there's evidence that people are embracing female leaders in greater numbers, in part because, according to a meta-analysis from 2011, "Leadership now, more than in the past, appears to incorporate more feminine relational qualities, such as sensitivity, warmth, and understanding."

In its 2014 leadership survey, the PR firm Ketchum wrote that there's a "seismic move away from an outdated, 'macho' model of solitary leadership—a command-and-control approach centered on one-way rhetoric, obsessively controlled messaging and solitary decision-making—and towards a new, more 'feminine' archetype."

A certain confusion sometimes sneaks into this discussion due to different understandings of what "nice" means. So-called "Nice Guy" behavior is often just passive-aggressive smarminess, with intentions all-too-obvious to those subjected to it.

These men will continue to finish last.