Nice Companies Finish First
Podcast #90 — Aired April 25, 2016

Think you have to be ruthless to get ahead? Think again! This week on BetterWorldians Radio, author Peter Shankman discusses his book, Nice Companies Finish First. He’ll tell listeners why kindness, loyalty, and optimism are the traits of great leaders and how companies can succeed by being nice.

 

 

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Peter Shankman
Author, Nice Companies Finish First

Peter Shankman is the bestselling author of Nice Companies Finish First. Peter is an entrepreneur, speaker, and worldwide connector. Peter is also recognized worldwide for radically new ways of thinking about Customer Service, Entrepreneurship, Social Media, PR, marketing and advertising. Peter is best known for founding Help A Reporter Out, which helps journalists looking for sources on deadline. Peter’s Customer Service and Social Media clients have included American Express, Sprint, and The US Department of Defense, among many others. Peter is an angel investor in early stage startup companies, sits on multiple advisory boards, and is honored to sit on the NASA Civilian Advisory Council. A marketing pundit for several national and international news channels, including Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC, Peter is frequently quoted in major media and trade publications.

 

Episode Transcript

Raymond Hansell
Hi, welcome to BetterWorldians radio. BetterWorldians radio is a weekly broadcast whos mission is to uplift and inspire you to make the world a better place. Im Ray Hansell joined today by my co-host MarySue Hansell. Better Worldians radio is brought to you by the family team that created the popular social game on Facebook called A Better World. It rewards players for doing good deeds while helping to raise money and awareness for charities. To date over forty million good deeds have been done in A Better World by more than four million people. Good deeds include expressions of gratitude, acts of kindness, and sending notes to real world sick kids just to name a few. This week we are talking with Peter Shankman author of Nice Companies Finish First. Peter is the best selling author, entrepreneur, speaker, and worldwide connector. Peters also recognized worldwide for radically new ways of thinking about customer service, entrepreneurship, social media, PR marketing, as well as, advertising. Hes also best known for founding Help a Reporter Out which helps journalist looking for sources on deadlines. Peter customer service and social media clients have included American Express, Sprint, and the U.S. Department of Defense among many others. He is also an angel investor in early stage startup companies, sits on multiple advisory boards and is honored to sit on NASAs civilian advisory council. A marketing pundit for several national, international news channels including Fox News, CNN and MSNBC. Hes frequently quoted in major media and trade publications. Hi Peter, thanks for joining us today on Better Worldians radio.

Peter
Pleasure to be here, thanks for having me.

Raymond Hansell
Youre very welcome. So tell us whats the difference between being nice and getting taken advantage of? Is that something we should be worried about?

Peter
You know, a lot of people worry that if theyre too nice theyre going to get taken advantage of and so, from that they dont bother being nice at all. But what Ive found, is that theres a huge difference between being nice and being taken advantage of and if you do it the right way, you can be incredibly nice and if someone believes they can take advantage of you, its probably the worst mistake theyre going to make. Theres a great quote from Al Capone who said, Im one of the nicest people you will ever meet until you try to take advantage of me, then Im the worst person that youll ever meet.

Raymond Hansell
Well thats an interesting quote to begin with, Al Capone, hes not someone that normally comes to mind when you think of nice people.

Peter
I think the key, I think the key is also, you know, to be a decent person, or be in decent company, or whatever the case may be, is not difficult. But so many people are afraid to do it because, you know, theyre thinking that theyre going to get taken advantage of. And what we find is that, thats the furthest thing from the truth if you work with the goal of doing good things.

Raymond Hansell
You know, in reading your book, one of the things that struck me right away was as I was reading about the hopeless jerks and the bosses that were really difficult to work with. I started thinking of people in my mind that said, oh I fell into that category. Tell our listeners a little bit about some of the warning signs that you get when youre looking for sort of bosses that are difficult to work for, some of the performance problems.

Peter
Yeah, I mean you always see, you know, bosses who focus primarily on themselves. You know, theyre not so much listening to you or listening to your ideas and suggestions as they are really waiting for you to stop talking so they can start talking again. You know, you find that bosses who are only concerned with appealing to upper management, making upper management happy, and less concerned about making sure their employees are being taken care of. You know, thats a huge sign. You want employees who are going to feel like they matter, and feel like theres people listening to them, and if you dont have that, your companies never going to succeed to begin with. So, you always want to look for bosses or sort of the upper echelon of the company, you want to make sure that it comes from top down, that their goal is to really focus on the employees.

Raymond Hansell
Why dont we speak a little bit about enlightened self-interest and how that applies to leadership?

Peter
Yeah, the basic premise behind enlightened self-interest is very simple. If I am trying to do something for the betterment of me, you know, I want to get this deal done because Ill get a nice commission. Well, thats one way to think about it. And its, you know, deals get done that way, sure. But, if you could think about whats in it for me, as well as, everyone else that becomes a much bigger perspective. Because then youre really looking at, how can I do this deal, or close this client, or whatever it is, that makes it better for everyone involved. And, doing that tends to allow everyone to feel that they got something good out of it. Right? As opposed to simply being taken advantage of, which is okay they did this because they wanted something. You know, if you can do something for everyone, you wind up becoming much more loved, for lack of better word, and people want to work with you, pretty much all the time.

Raymond Hansell
Thats been our experience as well. And one of the ones that really stands out, as far as examples that you brought up was Michael Tompkins, the GM of Miraval Hotel. Tell us a little bit about that as well.

Peter
Yeah, you know, every once in a while you interview someone who really gets it, and this guy is no different. He understands that, you know, if youre running a hotel then your focus has to be on the guests, theyre staying somewhere they may not have been before, they might be there for whatever reason, it could be something personal, something professional, something business wise, they could have had a bad flight in, they could of, theres so many different things that can happen during this time that theyre with you that you have to entirely focus on the guest. The best way to do that, hes learned, is to focus on the employees and to give the employees the power to focus on the guest. To say, youre not going to get in trouble if you go out of your way to help this reporter, to help this customer, guest, whatever the case may be, I wont get you in trouble if you spend a little extra money to fix a problem for them. But I will get you in trouble if you dont bother.

Raymond Hansell
Yeah.

Peter
And he was smart enough to understand that and he saw real revenue increases from there as well.

Raymond Hansell
And so he empowered the people to do at least something, as opposed to this isnt my job, let this problem be solved by somebody else.

Peter
Its so true, and again, you know, like Ritz Carlton is famous for this as well. Every employee has the empowerment to fix a problem, and its noticeable, you know. More importantly its noticeable when it doesnt happen, you see it when youre with a company and they say, oh sorry I cant help you thats not my department, or Im not allowed to do that, or I have to get you a manager, but hes not in, nothing more frustrating than that.

Raymond Hansell
Yeah, now the second trait that you mentioned is accessibility, the trait of accessibility. Tell our listeners a little bit about that and if you could share the story of Shandon Harbor, the CEO that really exemplified that accessibility factor, Id appreciate that as well.

Peter
The basic premise of accessibility is as most employees do not expect to ever see the CEO, and if they do see the CEO, they expect its going to be in passing in the elevator and they probably shouldnt say anything to him. You know, the flipside though is if youre able to talk to your CEO, and more importantly if you feel that your CEO is willing to listen then all of a sudden you are much more in tune with that company. You feel that the company work for embraces you and actually cares about you, you have an invested motivation to continue growing. Shandon Harbor did something very similar, you know, she wasnt running a huge company, she was running, I think it was SEA Security in San Diego. She wasnt running a huge company, but she said, what could she do that would bring people, to get people motivated, get them engaged, but its also inexpensive. So she tried doing different things that were, that got her out of her comfort zone and her employees as well. They did Ping Pong March Madness for instance, where they let the employees set up into teams that they wanted to be in and they did book clubs, and all these different things with the concept of we all work here together. Right? So the premise is when everyone did things together, but they didnt feel forced, everyone knows that, I think it was from Office Space, they said, Next Friday is Hawaiian shirt day, so be sure to wear your Hawaiian shirt, and everyone in the office wants to blow their brains out. Right? This wasnt done like this, this was more of a, you know, we want you to be a part of this, we want you to feel like it matters, but we want you to be having fun, were not forcing you to do something stupid thats only going to increase how much you hate being here.

Raymond Hansell
Yeah, I think one of the examples you brought up in the book, which I think was very telling, was sort of getting on that elevator and being with the bosses, bosses, bosses, bosses, boss and its just you and that person and you begin to hold conversation, what does that boss at the top do? And in some cases they just nod, grunt or stare, or they could actually engage in a conversation as if you were just another person that was on the elevator. And, I think thats a very small thing, its not like a huge initiative, but boy does it make a difference, doesnt it?

Peter
It really doesnt. You know, at the end of the day you want to be, its the same reason that I, and look Im not anything special, Ive sold a couple of companies and Im not, you know, a multi trillionaire or whatever. I wish I was. But I spend, basically anyone that emails me gets an immediate response from me as soon as Im in front of my computer, and Im happy to meet with them for ten minutes for coffee or whatever. And its really all about wanting to do it, and caring, and at the end of the day, I just feel like thats, you know, why not be a decent person. Especially if youve had any modicum of success, you really sort of have the responsibility to send the elevator back down, and Ive always believed that. So, thats what I try to do.

Raymond Hansell
You pay it back, pay it forward. What is strategic listening? Tell our listeners a little bit about that and how can we become better listeners?

Peter
I think the easiest way to become better listeners, again is to stop listening for just a break in the conversation so you can talk. Ive often found that when I go into meetings, I rarely say anything. Which for someone with ADHD like myself is ridiculously difficult, but I go in and I try not to say anything, and I try to truly focus on what the people are saying. And then, sort of, understand where its coming from. So, what is this person saying, why are they saying it, what are they really looking to get out of it. The goal being that you want to listen to what people are saying and then act on the information theyre giving you. Because theyre giving you all the information you need and if you can act on it, again, it makes people feel like youre listening, like theyre empowered, like they have the ability to share things with you. Thats a huge, huge benefit.

Raymond Hansell
So tell us what exactly good stewardship is and how does it help leaders?

Peter
Well good stewardship is really the focus of understanding that youre running a company for the sake of the employees first. Right? So, you want to be able to understand that there are rules in place to run a company the way that youre running it, but there are also times for flexibility. You know, theres a story of someone who had left an apartment because he, he was renting an apartment and he bought a place, and he had six months left on his lease, he didnt expect to be let out of it, but he had a friend who needed a place to live so he gave it to her, she rented it, and the management knew about it, she was a great tenant. When it came to, when that lease came up, that woman who was renting it said, you know what Id like to stay here and went to management and said, look Ive been here for six months, you guys have known about it, can we just forgo all the paperwork and Ill just continue the lease, you know, itll be great. And management office said, thats ridiculous, not going to happen, no way, you have to follow protocol, we have rules. And she sent a note to the head of the management company, who had no idea this was going on, and said hey FYI, I just want you to know that you lost a good tenant who would have easily signed another two year lease and more importantly, you lost the good will that was built up over the last six months. And the CEO was furious, hes like, what have I taught you people, how come, why did it even get to that, why would you possibly do that, theyre times to break the rules. And a good steward understands that employees have to be able to trust that if they break the rules for a good reason its not going to get them in trouble.

Raymond Hansell
Now alright, REI, you cited as a great company that takes good stewardship seriously. Can you speak to that?

Peter
Yeah, I mean REI is wonderful, they care not only about their employees but they care about the environment, they care about how they treat employees, you know, REI is the concept of, its a company that focuses primarily on outdoor environment clothing like that, and you know, using our earth to the best of its ability so if were going to do that, then obviously they want to be, they want to be good people that take care of the world. So they do the same thing, they allow their employees days off to help clean up rivers and clean up the environment, and do things of, that premise. And, more importantly they let their employees understand that theyre owners, they own the company, they are part of what happens, good or bad, and that really encourages their employees to do things for good.

Raymond Hansell
Things for good. Thats a great segue. Were going to take a short break right now, but when we return well talk more with Peter Shankman about his book, Nice Companies Finish First. In the meantime if youre a fan of Better Worldians radio, you should check out our game on Facebook called A Better World. A Better World encourages habits of goodness, positive mindsets, random acts of kindness and giving to social causes to make a positive difference in the world. Players do things like express gratitude, share their good deeds, send get well notes to real world sick children and many, many more. In the month of March, wed like to congratulate our players for successful campaign with the Integral Heart Foundation in Guatemala, because you reached our do good goal with over five hundred thousand good deeds. We released funds to provide meals at their academy in Guatemala for an entire month. And were excited to announce that our new partnership with Kelly Anne Dolan is off to a great start, theyre our charity partner for the month of April and when the players complete in our game, complete the good deed challenge this month, well release funds to help the Kelly Anne Dolan memorial fund, lighten the burdens and lift the spirits of families caring for very seriously ill children. You can find out more and play our game at Facebook.com/ABetterWorld. Well be right back.

Raymond Hansell
Youre listening to Better Worldians radio. Were speaking with Peter Shankman, author of Nice Companies Finish First. Now lets welcome back Peter and my co-host MarySue Hansell.

MarySue Hansell
Hi Peter.

Peter
Howdy.

MarySue Hansell
Nice to have you with us today.

Peter
Pleasure to be here, thank you.

MarySue Hansell
You know, you mentioned loyalty is such an important trait of a nice company, but you were saying it could be a double edge sword. What does that mean?

Peter
The concept of loyalty, you know, its a double edge sword in the following, you want employees to be loyal, you want customers to be loyal, everyone does. But, there comes a point where you have to ask your employees, are they being loyal for the sake of being loyal? Or is there still a benefit there? And Ill give you a great example, I have, I had an assistant named Megan Walker, and Megan worked for me for seven years, she was wonderful. After seven years, I realized that we were both sort of getting into a rut, you know, not unlike a marriage. Right? What wound up happening was, she was doing her job, she had a good job, it was easy, she could do it, she was, I was pretty much the easiest boss for her, she could work from wherever she wanted, but she also didnt have the motivation to drive, to grow. And so, it got to the point where I said to her, I said look, we have to part ways, you need to do something better, you need to strive to head out of your comfort zone a little bit. And it was a difficult departure because we love each other very much and shes a great employee and I didnt want to lose her, but I needed her to go out, sort of kick her out the nest as it were. Right? So I kicked her out of the nest, and she wound up getting a phenomenal job working for the CEO of a major clothing retailer, you know, great position. Within three months she had quit, she said I hate this, this is the worst job ever, I realized that I want to grow but I have to grow at my own pace, and I have to grow the way I want to. P.S. I hired her back.

MarySue Hansell
Ah, thats interesting.

Peter
And her, shes just been off the charts perfect since I got her back. And she feels like she can grow, and it really was a nice refresher. So, loyaltys great until it becomes a part where youre there and okay, theres absolutely nothing that were doing thats any different. So you want to make sure that your loyal employees are loyal because they still love and theyre still passionate with you. But on the flipside you want to make sure youre customers are loyal, not just because its easier to stay with you than go anywhere else, but because you keep giving them reason to be loyal. Airlines are great, they trap you with their frequent flyer programs, and they think oh, hes a platinum member, he can never leave us. Well, let me tell you something, there are tons of companies out there that would take three seconds to match your mileage and theyd be gone. So, you know, if United is doing it, Delta can do it, you need to make sure that its the same thing.

MarySue Hansell
Yes, I think I read in your book or heard on your YouTubes that you do so much traveling, youre probably the expert in that whole area. You know what is the whole glass half full point of view that you mentioned and how can executives do their part, do their job better with that?

Peter
You know the glass half full simply says this, a I look at it along the premise of I dont, I dont win, Im sorry, I dont lose, I either win or I learn.

MarySue Hansell
Okay.

Peter
And if you have CEO who thinks that, you know what, theyre negative things that are going on but we can find ways to learn from them and improve, then thats not a problem. The issue is when you dont see that, and you say, oh no itll get better, itll get better, itll get better, without really having a plan to make it better. So you want to make sure you have a plan to make it better, but for me, Id much rather have a CEO who says, you know what, yeah, things are crappy this quarter, but heres how were going to fix it and were excited about whats to come.

MarySue Hansell
Ah, interesting. Heres one of my favorite topics that you cover in this book and in another book too. You write that a good boss is customer service centric, and thats really pretty simple to do that. Let me hear all your good stuff about that, and I know you have a funny story to tell us about a steak and please throw that in too.

Peter
I think the customer service centric concept is very simple. The understanding that your customers are what run your business, and your business is not run by your clients, Im sorry, its not run by your shareholders, its not run by your CEO, its run by your customers. If you do not allow them to direct the direction of your company, then they will simply go somewhere else where they can. So, it is ridiculously important to understand that the direction of your company is run by your customers. The best way to do that, listen to them when they talk, listen to what theyre saying, listen to their requests, listen to their needs and desires. Ask them how you can help them, you know, the, Im amazed by how many companies dont bother to listen to their customers. You know, its, we get those surveys all the time, you know, tell us what we did, tell how we did, and tell us how we can improve and at the very bottom it says, dont reply to this email, we dont read these. Im sitting there going, okay well thats sort of defeatist, whats the point? So you know, you want to make sure if youre doing that, listen to your customers. How hard is that? Its not rocket science.

MarySue Hansell
You know Peter, have you seen a big change since social media has come into play?

Peter
No question about it, no question about it. But, you know, the interesting thing about social media is that you find that the majority of people who complain, theres actually a study, the majority of people who complain on Twitter or Facebook, they dont actually need a fix to their problem, they just want to know theyve been heard. So, the simple act of responding, right there, does about ninety percent of what you could do. You dont necessarily have to go and change the world for your customers, they just want to know that theyre being heard. Because, lets face it, if they have a problem, a big company saying, you know what, we hear you. Thats huge. You have this little tiny me, whos going to pay attention to me, oh my God they actually replied.

MarySue Hansell
Yeah.

Peter
Thats kind of cool. And thats really neat because at that point youve just turned a hater into a lover. And lets face it, there is no better lover in the world than a former hater.

MarySue Hansell
Now do you think companies are giving a much better customer service now that they know, you know, everythings out there, all their dirty laundry gets hung out on the social media platforms?

Peter
I hope its because they dont, I hope its because they want to and not just because they feel like they dont have a choice. You know, I hope that they, that they understand that theres a lot of revenue value in being decent. Thats the key, you have employee, you have, Im sorry, you have CEOs who believe that not, that doing customer service or improving customer service is actually a drain on revenue. But in fact, its a tremendous, not only a tremendous benefit but its a huge revenue booster. The easiest things to do for your customers, for your clients, can actually generate a ridiculous amount of revenue. For several reasons, the least of which being that you wind up having your customers do your PR for you.

MarySue Hansell
Thats right.

Peter
Right? And lets face it, no one believes how awesome you are if youre the one that has to tell them.

MarySue Hansell
Yes.

Peter
But, if everyone else, their friends, tell them how awesome you are, everyones going to believe it.

MarySue Hansell
Well you have to tell that wonderful story that you tweeted about the steak.

Peter
So, everyone knows the story. I was coming home from a flight to Florida, I had a day trip to Florida, so I left at like five a.m., had a lunch, came back, long day. And on my flight home I jokingly sent a tweet to Mortons Steakhouse that said hey Mortons, Im pretty starving, why dont you meet me at Newark airport when I land with a porterhouse, ha ha ha ha. Its the exact same way youd tweet something like, hey winter please stop snowing.

MarySue Hansell
Right.

Peter
Get off my plane, find my driver, standing next to my driver is a guy in a tuxedo carrying a Mortons bag. They saw the tweet, figured out what flight I was on, figured out how to get to the airport and delivered me a steak. I of course took a picture of it, wrote a blog post about it, and they got tremendous, they were on the Today Show, their revenue went up. It was one of those ridiculous things that you know, was not planned, but it turned out to be a great PR stunt. But heres the thing, and this is what most people dont talk about. If Mortons didnt give you a great experience at their restaurant, you know, Mortons job isnt to bring steaks to the airport, Mortons job is to deliver great experiences whenever you go to their restaurant. So if their job, if they brought me a steak to the airport, but your steak was cold, right, when you went for your birthday.

MarySue Hansell
Yes.

Peter
Youd be even more angry, and that would back fire on them. So, their customer service has to be off the charts to begin with. And its the simple things, if its your birthday they ask you, every time I make a reservation, are you celebrating anything? No, just, its my wifes birthday. Great, well see you on Friday. You show up and you sit down at the table and on the menu it says happy birthday with your wifes name on it, shes over the moon. What did it cost them, nothing its a piece of paper. But she saves it and shares it with friends and posts it on Instagram, thats where the amazement starts.

MarySue Hansell
Yeah, I was truly in awe about that, I thought they had a very super social media department to pick that tweet up that fast and be able to get it through all the channels to deliver that steak to you, so, I thought that was fabulous.

Peter
No doubt.

MarySue Hansell
But anyway, what is merit based, what is being a merit based competitor?

Peter
The basic premise of being a merit based competitor essentially says that youre focused on concept, I look at it along the lines of, Im a merit based leader, Im constantly trying to improve myself. With the premise that if Im improving myself, my employees will improve automatically. If they see that Im actually attempting to make the work, and Im attempting to get myself better, and Im attempting to do. Theres a great cartoon I once saw, it was a picture of a boss and hes on a thrown and the thrown was being carried by a bunch of his employees, and thats the title Boss. And the next one says Leader. And the picture of the leader is the leader and everyone else carrying the thrown with no one on it. So the premise is, you want to be able to get in the trenches with your employees and they need to see you as someone whos not just going to sit up high, but whos going to work for everything that they are. The chances of them wanting to do more for you when you do that, go up exponentially.

MarySue Hansell
Neat, neat. You know the final trait that you share in your book is gives a damn, and I love that. How can good bosses get their entire company to give a damn?

Peter
It has to start with the boss.

MarySue Hansell
Okay.

Peter
So I am a, you know, I like to think Im a nice CEO. My assistant Megan she moved back home to Massachusetts where shes from and shes there with her boyfriend and they just got a place together. Because of that they dont have a lot of money to take a vacation, do anything, so theyre pretty much staying close to home. Well I fly all the time, and I have a lot of miles, so I sent her a note saying FYI find a place that you and your boyfriend want to go, Im going to use my miles and send you guys there. And I didnt do it for any other reason than I like being nice, but the benefit of that, you know, shes over the moon, shes happier, she gets a vacation, shes in a good place, her husband, her boyfriend loves me. Right? Hell never let her quit.

MarySue Hansell
I guess so, yeah.

Peter
Everyone wins and it cost me what? A few miles that I had already. So, its one of those things where you want to be decent for the sake of being decent. Because, not a lot of people are and its just a nice thing to do.

MarySue Hansell
Well Peter you sure are a nice guy and a nice boss to do that.

Peter
Thank you, but you also have to understand that theres benefit to it for the company.

MarySue Hansell
Yes, oh sure.

Peter
And you know, so many bosses, I have to be mean, I have to be mean, yeah, the opposite here, studies prove it out.

MarySue Hansell
And how about that really neat story about Poland Springs on nine eleven, I think our listeners would love to hear that one. Cause I wasnt aware of that one.

Peter
Yeah, I mean Poland Springs, the interesting thing about Poland Springs, everyone just thinks oh theyre a water company. You know, the problem with package goods products like Poland Spring. Right? Is you dont actually think about people behind them. You dont actually think that theres a real company behind them, and sort of being run by real people as it were. And people with heart, people with good values. And so, the concept of Poland Spring, and Im actually looking it up to make sure I get it right, here it is, its the question, Poland Spring is Nestle water. Right? Theyre owned by Nestle water, Poland Spring, Arrowhead, Deer Park, Zephyrhills, all those. They own like a ridiculous amount of the bottled water market. The thing about that is, is that when I was, on September eleventh 2001, I was third for takeoff on the runway at Newark on a flight headed to the west coast, watching the towers get hit and burn from the window of a plane, we never took off. And everyone was in a ridiculous amount of chaos, it was just a massive, massive chaos. But, by midday, after the horrific actions, there were people on the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge handing out cups of water, and all the water were being poured out of big containers marked Poland Spring and everyone was like, how the hell did Poland Spring mobilize so quickly, there was no transportation, there was whatever. Well, the companies water trucks were the only non emergency nonofficial vehicles that got to the Lincoln Tunnel to bring water in. And the reason that happened was because Poland Spring reached out to management, Im sorry, to the emergency rescue crews and said we want to get this done. And the rescue said by all means, go for it. The interesting thing about the story is that its very hard to find media that covered that, and the reason being is that because Poland Spring never talked about it.

MarySue Hansell
Oh geez.

Peter
Nestle water never talked about it. They simply knew it was the right thing to do.

MarySue Hansell
Oh thats such a wonderful story.

Peter
And they werent on T.V., they never shared it, never issued a press release, they simply knew it was the right thing to do. And those are the kind of things, youre going to tell me, find me one employee not proud to work for Nestle water that day.

MarySue Hansell
Oh absolutely. You know at the end of your book, you have lots of rules about being successful and I thought if you could share a couple with our listeners, it would really help us all out.

Peter
Id be happy to. You know, and theyre basically the rules that I follow, its sort of how I live my life, for lack of a better word. I always tell the story about Tony Bennett, I once did some work for Tony Bennett. I was a consultant for him, and we went to dinner one night, it was Tony, his twenty nine year old girlfriend, my mother, my father and me. And we went to dinner, I went to Nobo, we walked in without a reservation and you know, so Tony walks in and he, we get this great table and over the night we have a great dinner. At some point over the course of the dinner my mom stood up to go to the bathroom, and of course I didnt notice it and neither did my dad, we were basically sitting there just absorbed by the food. You ever watch the Simpsons when then eat, ra ra ra, thats what my dad and I were doing. But, Tony Bennett stood up when my mom went to the bathroom, when my mom came back from the bathroom Tony Bennett stood up again. Well, we finished dinner and Tony and his girlfriend go off in one direction and my mom and my dad and me go off in the other direction, my dads like wow, amazing dinner, Im like, oh my God, the food was so great, my mother just looks at us and said, Tony Bennett stood up when I went to the bathroom and then didnt talk to us for a week. And basic premise behind that is that we dont expect to be treated, we dont expect to be treated well, we dont expect good things, we expect essentially crap service, and we expect everything to not be that great. Well if you could just treat your customers one level above crap, I dont even need you to treat them well, but the simplest things that you can do is going to make all the difference because no one does them. So, when I started dating a woman several years later, she told me she wasnt going to have a second date with me expect that I asked her about her day, and I got up when she went to the bathroom.

MarySue Hansell
Oh wow.

Peter
We dated for three years. So, it tells you that there is value in just being a little bit better. Whether youre a person on a date or whether youre a multi billion dollar business.

MarySue Hansell
Well, certainly makes everyone feel theyre very respected, if people get up or when they enter a room or leave a room, that really is so nice. Peter, my last question for you is, how do you hope your ideas in your book, Nice Companies Finish First, can make the world a better place?

Peter
I think at the end of the day we need to realize that were all in this together, and whether were fighting to be the best CEO or the best whatever, we really only have one planet, were not planning on going anywhere to start something new anytime in our lifetimes, and so the best thing we can do is work together to improve civilization for all of us. The money is there, well all make it if we do the right things, but its the age of Gordon Gecko is dead, we need to focus on not eating our young, but rather leaving them a better place, and that starts with simply being a little bit nicer. And the benefit of that is a lot of money in it.

MarySue Hansell
Thats really nice. Thank you.

Raymond Hansell
Yeah, Peter thats a really good way to wrap up. I think that your work is really interesting, I encourage people to go to the bookstore and pick up a copy of Nice Companies Finish First, and also learn more about you and the work that youve been doing at Shankman dot com. Thanks for joining us today on Better Worldians radio.

Peter
Thank you guys.

Raymond Hansell
Youre very welcome. By the way if youre enjoying this episodes of, episode of Better Worldians radio, please be sure to subscribe to our show on iTunes and give us a review. Were always listening to your feedback, so let us know what you think. As we end our show each week, we like to share our Better Worldians mission, we strive to make the world a better place by encouraging the very best in everyone. We focus on positive thinking, positive values, and positive actions. In short, our vision is to bring out the Better Worldian in everyone so that we can all make it a better world. So until next time, be a Better Worldian.