The Current

Success By Design: Research shows Jerks get the corner office

Some consider acting like a jerk is an effective way to succeed - inspired even - as a boss. Others would instinctively say being nice is how to get ahead. Today, we consider Success By Design. Is best achieved by being nice or by being a jerk?
If you don't have anything nice to say, then maybe the corner office will be yours. Designing your path to success has some saying being a jerk can bring power. (shoehorn99, flickr cc)

The good news is you're fired. The bad news is you've got just one week to regain your jobs, starting with tonight.- Blake in the film, Glengarry Glenn Ross

Alec Baldwin's character, Blake in Glengarry Glen Ross was a workplace jerk, if ever there were one.

Is it better to be nice or be a jerk to succeed in life? (Sarah Ackerman, Flickr cc)

The old truism says that "nice guys finish last." And the corollary has always been that it's the jerks in first place.

But that's a bit of wisdom that's been challenged of late.

As part of our project, By Design, we're looking at the best way to design your path to success in life... by following the path of nasty, or nice.

  • Todd Kashdan is the author of "The Upside of your Dark Side".
  • Robin Koval is co-author of "The Power of Nice", and the upcoming book "Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary".

What's the truth path to success -- being nice, or being a jerk?  Send us your thoughts and your personal stories.

Send us an email. Or find us on Facebook and tweet us @TheCurrentCBC, use #bydesigncbc.

This segment was produced by The Current's Sarah Grant and Acey Rowe. 

The New York Times asks, Can You Be Too Nice at the Office?

About a year ago The New York Times asked, Can you be too nice at the office? And as part of its coverage asked the comedy duo Key and Peele to demonstrate workplace altruism. As you'll see, being a nice guy at work, doesn't necessarily mean giving up on competitive instincts.