But can you really be likeable and successful in business?
“I’m not out to win a popularity contest. I’m not here to be liked. I’m here to be successful. And if you’re planning on being successful in business, you need to toughen up and get ruthless.
“I can’t afford to waste valuable time on being nice, and there’s no room for nice people in good business. Get over it.”
I’d only asked him if he wanted another drink.
It’s probably a good job that he’s not here to make friends, as the grumpy old business owner certainly hasn’t got very many of those in the bar.
But I’m worried about how many people may actually agree with Alfie Sweet.
Is it really true that you can’t make a big success of your business whilst remaining a perfectly agreeable sort of person?
Do you definitely need to evolve into an obnoxious monster before you can boldly lead your team to triumph?
I think there may certainly be at least some degree of truth in Alfie’s point about toughening up.
On the road to success, it’s likely that you will have to make some tough decisions based on business logic and reason rather than keeping everyone around you happy.
But does this mean that you have to become utterly ruthless, unpleasant, rude, and generally bad-tempered along the way?
It seems to me that not nearly enough is said about the advantages of being a genuinely good-natured character in business, and how you can be both likeable and successful at the same time.
It’s surely time to put that right…