In the business world, can nice people finish first?
Shradha Sharma/ Linked In
Recently, have you taken a stroll in the park? If you have, you must have noticed something quite interesting: the shrubs and trees that line the boulevard, dotted with flowers and fruits of myriad colors, do not seem to be bothered about which of them is more beautiful. They do not concern themselves with which of them has the more fragrant flower, or the sweeter nectar. They are just there, relaxed in their journey. In the garden of their lives, there seems to be no competition.However, step outside this calm environment, and we are met with a completely different message. It is thrust into us that to be successful; we must compete. We must walk the walk and take every single opportunity we get, or we’ll be left behind. We are living in a noisy world that screams “do whatever it takes to rise, or you will fail.”The business world, especially, seems to be filled with stories celebrating this ‘do or die’ attitude. We have heard of the numerous stories about how the world’s largest online retailer Amazon has continuously suppressed its workers’ efforts to better their conditions. In some cases, workers have even reported having to use trash cans as toilets because of tall targets for productivity the company has set, intending to generate higher profits. We hear of oil companies and miners devastating the environment and people’s health. We read of the levels of corruption that executives stoop to, in a bid to increase their short-term earnings forecasts.
According to KK, what makes his company tick was the high-performance, a high-integrity culture built over the last 20 years and they did not want to give up on that. Their focus on this fine balance of performance, integrity and good corporate governance helped them generate significant value to shareholders, KK said.
The other story was my good friend Arvind Pani, the CEO of a local language technology startup Reverie, recently bought out by Reliance Industries. Arvind is quintessentially nice. He is one of those people my mother used to talk about when I was a child – the neighbor’s son who always did the right thing — the one who’s too good to be true. Arvind has remained the same even as an entrepreneur. He always did the right thing, thought about those around him and was always ready to offer a helping hand.Straight-talking people like KK and Arvind tell us that though we may see some people winning sprints with antics, the marathon will be won by people who stay true to their hearts.