Career Success and the Power of Being Nice

I did a talk on career success for the women’s mentoring program of one of my large corporate clients last week.  I knew several of the women in the audience.  The day after the talk I received an email from one of them that said…


It was a wonderful surprise to have you present to our women’s mentoring program this week.  Thank you for taking the time and for the excellent presentation.

Kind regards,

Meredith was following the career advice in Tweet 78 in my career success book Success Tweets.  “Say ‘thank you’ often.  You’ll succeed, build a strong personal brand and build a legacy of being a nice person.”  And you know what, Meredith is a nice person.

Zach Bussey is a Twitter friend of mine.  He lives in Toronto and I live in Denver.  Isn’t the internet a great thing?  Zach really understands social media.  Late last yeat, Zach and I exchanged a few tweets on the importance of saying thank you.  Here’s one of the tweets Zach sent me…

“The word ‘thanks’ is used less and less.  It’s unfortunate, because it’s the kind of word that can change someone’s day.”

I agree.  A sincere “thank you” always makes my day.  I really appreciate the people who take the time to thank me for these blog posts and my daily success quotes.  My day gets a little brighter every time someone thanks me.  I bet yours does too.

That’s why I end every one of my blog posts with something like, “thanks for reading.”  I really appreciate the time you take to read my blog.  Thanking you is the least I can do to show this appreciation.  From time to time I offer things for free here to show my thanks.  Today, I’d like to thank you for reading this career advice blog by giving you one of my career success books, I Want YOU…to Succeed.  All you have to do is go to

A while back, I did a blog post where I featured Jeff Hajek’s book Whaddya Mean I Gotta Be Lean?  I like this book.  And, as I pointed out in the post, Jeff provides some great career advice in a book that at first glance doesn’t seem to have much to do with career success.

Jeff sent me an e mail the day after the post ran, thanking me for my favorable comments about his book.  I thought that was great – and for me it was enough.  However, a couple of days later, I received a handwritten note in my snail mail from Jeff.  It read…


I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to review Whaddya Mean on your blog.  I am cognizant of the fact that you have gone out of your way to help me, so if there is anything I can ever do to return the favor, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Best wishes,

Handwritten notes are not very common these days.  I was touched that Jeff took the time to write one and send it to me.  By sending it, he really strengthened his relationship with me.  The next time he asks for my help, I am very likely to give it to him.  Also, he offered his help to me.  I feel that I can go to him if I need assistance in his area of expertise.  Jeff used a simple technique – a handwritten note – to build his relationship with me.

My post helped Jeff – any exposure helps.  But I reviewed his book because I thought it would be useful to readers of this blog.  My intent was to provide readers of this blog with useful information.  So my review was a win/win/win.  Good for you, good for Jeff, and good for me because I am meeting one of my goals – helping others create the life and career success that they want and deserve.  All of us benefited. 

Jeff purchased a thank you card for his note to me.  That was great, but I have an even better idea.  I have invested in a set of note cards with my name printed at the top and my return address on the back flap of the envelope.  I suggest that you do the same – you’ll find yourself writing more thank you notes when you have a card handy. 

One of the companies where I do a lot of consulting and coaching work has picked up on this idea.  They have placed blank thank you notes – with one of their core values on the front of the card – at convenient locations in their offices.  Their intent is to get employees to thank one another for good work and helping one another.  And it worked.  People are sending more of these handwritten notes to their colleagues, strengthening relationships within the company.

The common sense career success coach point here is simple.  Successful people are interpersonally competent.  Interpersonally competent people are good at building relationships.  Thanking people when they help you is a great way to build relationships.  Follow the career advice in Tweet 78 in Success Tweets.  “Say ‘thank you’ often.  You’ll succeed, build a strong personal brand and build a legacy of being a nice person.”  Besides thanking people in person, hand written notes are a great way of saying thank you.  Hand written thank you notes establish you as someone who cares about other people and is willing to go a little out of your way to build relationships — the hallmark of successful, interpersonally competent people.

That’s my career advice on using two of the most important words in the English language – thank you.  What’s your take on this?  How do you thank people?  Do you do it often enough?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading my musings on life and career success.  I appreciate you.


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  1. yileaves says:

    thanks for all the post. I read your “50 people who fail” first because I recently started to question what it takes to be successful. I have been not like me and left my original optimistic, not giving up characteristic and thanks for reminding me. Moreover, I really can’t agree more with you that fewer and fewer people would say “thanks”

  2. Thanks for your comment.
    Don’t give up on your hopes and dreams.
    Keep working and you will create the life and career success you want and deserve.

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