Achieving Success at Work – The Success Matrix

Here are two basics that will virtually guarantee success on the job.

First, we create a matrix with two intersecting axes.

Axis 1 is hard work.
Axis 2 is being nice.

Here is what that looks like.


The bottom left and top right are not optimum, but depending on your team you might survive. For example, people can tolerate grumpiness from someone who gets a lot done! After all, everyone can see they are working really hard and so expect them to be a bit grumpy. Of course, no one likes to be around a grump.

At the bottom left, we have the really nice person who is not so productive. But man, they are so nice! When you are dealing with someone like that, you tend to think you can mentor, train, or find work for them to do that fits their skill sets. Right? But eventually a company has to turn a profit and that depends on productivity.

Now we come to the bottom right. As the kids say, yeah….no.

I want to finish in the sweet spot, which is the top left. If this is you, then you have probably held a job your entire life. If this is not you, but you are a hard worker? Work harder on being nice. You are a really nice person? It is a nice thing to work hard and help the team.

Now, what about nice people finishing last? Next post.