Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.
Work Hard. Be nice. I first heard this phrase from the folks at the Knowledge is Power Program –KIPP.
My mom taught me this lesson in a million ways. Follow the golden rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Karma.
But these 4 words “Work hard. Be nice” encompass how I want to live every day of my life and what I hope comes through clearly in my work. I understand this directive on a visceral level.
Work hard. Be nice.
KIPP, a national network of free public charter schools, share a core set of operating principles known as the Five Pillars. They strongly emphasize character building in everything they do. They see the development of character as being just as important as learning geography or geometry. Character development is just as important to long-term success as learning to write code or use a video camera. Just as important as being an excel master or a good copy editor.
The smartest creatives aren’t the ones that sit alone, creating the perfect product. Whether they are writing the next great American novel or creating the next big tech tool, they create a strong community where they can test and learn – where they can release their work to the world. They create a lab of learning that allows them to finish what they start – even when it’s not perfect, and share it with the world – even when they don’t feel ready.
They SHIP constantly. They SHIP consistently. They SHIP early. They SHIP often.
Are you willing to ship something 10,000 times before you get it right? Thomas Edison was. It requires incredible focus to remain faithful to an idea, and uncompromising strength to ship that idea 10,000 times!
Strength of character helps make this happen. It builds an attitude and mindset that is courageous and resilient. It is about the attitude that allows you to seek, strive, find and never yield.
So the importance of hard work is pretty obvious. But why do you have to be nice?
Being positive and upbeat can influence everyone around you, and so can being negative. Let’s just be clear…mean people suck.
While you may not be able to help it if you are having a bad day or if you don’t like doing a particular task, changing your attitude changes everything. Complaining will only make time drag on when doing an unpleasant task. Being unpleasant while you are doing something that you hate makes it a million times worse. No one wants to work with, collaborate, support, partner with or engage with an unpleasant person.
No one – no matter how much talent you have.
Being a pleasant person helps every day. It increases your energy and your community which helps increase your opportunities…so you can do more work. Humor, fun, laughter and kindness are the ultimate acts of creativity. Being nice helps you share your gifts and talents with a wider, broader, deeper audience.
Work hard. Be nice. Love wins.