Great New Reads: Nice Companies Finish First

UPDATED: May 22, 2023
PUBLISHED: March 18, 2013

By: Peter Shankman with Karen Kelly


Palgrave Macmillan; $25

Despite the slightly misleading title—collaboration has long been a component of managerial style and graduate-level business courses—the author effectively argues that the era of the authoritarian “my way or the highway” CEO is on its way out. Peter Shankman, founder of The Geek Factory—a boutique public relations, marketing and social media firm—makes the case that to be successful in the age of transparency and social media scrutiny, leaders must create a corporate culture that celebrates respect, pride, loyalty and collaboration. And if showing employees respect is essential, wooing the customer is critical. As proof, Shankman recaps the stories of well-known corporate good guys such as Jet-Blue’s Dave Needleman, Zappos’ Tony Hsieh and Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard, and he gives examples of the fallout that results when a company disregards or undermines consumers’ trust. Shankman profiles notably nice executives and gives a breakdown of the nine key traits of a successful leader that is especially valuable, giving both newbie and seasoned bosses a chance to review and retool their management styles. The tips in Nice Companies Finish First
range from personal strategies to corporate ones that will result in effective leadership. A happy leader makes for a happy environment and positive results.