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Nice Companies Finish First: Why Cutthroat Management Is Over--and Collaboration Is In Hardcover – Apr 2 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Apr 2 2013
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (April 2 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230341896
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230341890
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 2.5 x 24 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #625,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Looks at how treating customers really well can bring huge dividends…in the era when customers can share information instantly on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, it's more important than ever for companies to keep them happy.” ―

“Shankman contends that in the long run, leaders who show loyalty, optimism, humility, and a reverence for customer service will create both profits and a happy workforce…He explains how their thoughtfulness and willingness to collaborate helped them create solid bottom lines for their businesses and happy workplaces.” ―Upstart Business Journal

“The book's anti-Machiavellian approach is trendy and humanistic, and it bears repeating by thought leaders.” ―Publishers Weekly

“A corporate consultant argues that kinder, gentler corporate leaders and corporations are winning out over older, tougher images of take-no-prisoners leadership...A smoothly put together business leadership primer.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Excellent, thought-provoking book for a new generation of leaders.” ―Booklist

“As CEO of one of the fastest-growing clothing lines in the world, I greatly admire Peter Shankman's strategies and techniques, and have implemented many of them at SCOTTEVEST. I highly recommend this book if you are a business owner or entrepreneur trying to build a unique brand and truly productive work environment.” ―Scott Jordan, CEO, Scottevest

“Shankman has put in a wakeup call for leaders to examine each of their daily interactions from the bottom to top. Through memorable examples, he offers straightforward and practical advice on how to conduct oneself in a way that will lead to win-win relationships with the people that matter most – essentially everybody in our world.” ―Leigh Thompson, professor, Kellogg School of Management and author of Creative Conspiracy.

“Fresh thinking that feels familiar. And it should – we've been told ‘play nice' since we were kids. But Peter expands the thought to encompass flexibility, compassion and the secret sauce: collaboration.” ―Cathy Calhoun, president, North America, Weber Shandwick

About the Author

Peter Shankman is the founder of Help a Reporter Out (HARO), the largest free source repository for journalists in the world, as well as the founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc., a 15-year-old marketing, branding, and PR company based in New York City with clients worldwide. His PR and social media clients have included AmEx, Sprint, the US Department of Defense, Royal Bank of Canada, Snapple, Saudi Aramco, Walt Disney World, Discovery Networks, Harrah's Hotels, and many others. He is the author of Can We Do That?!, which has been named one of the six "must read" PR books by PR Channel, and Customer Service: New Rules for a Social-Enabled World. He is a frequent speaker and has presented at such venues as South by Southwest, BlogWorld, The Public Relations Society of America, and many other trade shows. Shankman sits on the advisory boards of several companies, as well as on the NASA Civilian Advisory Council.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Peter Shankman gets it. This book is jammed packed with case studies, stats, stories and the more entertaining examples of how being nice in business and in life actually pays off. He's an entertaining writer, cites a lot of studies and includes many quotes from various individuals in the business community. I've included some below.

The underlying message of Nice Companies Finish First is the there is hope for the good guys. Being nice pays off. Giving back pays off. As long as you're putting more in than you taking out you'll be at a natural equilibrium.

Here are some of my favorites parts of the book:

"There’s no way to institutionalize or “corporatize” niceness—it comes from the top person and permeates a place."

“I only wish I could find an institute that teaches people how to listen. Business people need to listen at least as much as they need to talk. Too many people fail to realize that real communication goes in both directions.” —Lee Iacocca, former CEO, Chrysler Corporation"

"In her book The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work, Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile studied what motivates employees and teams to maintain enthusiasm about their work. She found that, more than money, recognition, interpersonal support, or clear goals, employees are most positive when they make progress."

“Frankly, you can’t be a jerk and be successful in the service business for a long period of time. When you’re in the service business, reputation is everything.” —Kenneth Chenault"

"Customer service is no longer about telling people how great you are.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In all honesty, just the chapter on customer service alone is worth the price of the book. Everything else is just icing on the cake.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa051fe64) out of 5 stars 21 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f634600) out of 5 stars Proof that the good guys (and gals) are winning April 3 2013
By Gina Sclafani - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book based solely on the title. Because I want to believe it's true. In my career I've dealt with nice companies and CEOs and have seen their impact. I've also dealt with ones that make it clear why corporations and CEOs are often portrayed as villains in movies. I want to believe the good guys (and gals) are winning.

I just finished it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The case studies were irrefutable and hopeful. The actions to take were clear and adoptable. I also believe that treating people at least, "one level above crap" is not only good for business, but good for society as well. If that weren't enough, I got a great airport-tantrum proximity tip (it's good to be next in line after the rude passenger.)

I want there to be more companies like those profiled to work with and for. I want, "nice" to be the standard when my 8-year-old daughter finally starts earning her keep. Of course, this could be just my "enlightened self-interest" talking, but I hope the ideas that Peter Shankman has expressed are even more fully embraced by the business community.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f634654) out of 5 stars Excellent book for business practices and leadership April 28 2013
By Chelsea - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have purchased books off Amazon for years and have been an avid reader my whole life. However, this is the first non-fiction book I've read that caused me to seek out my computer to communicate how awesome it was to the world.

Shankman's writing style is easy to read and thoroughly enjoyable. The business examples he uses to illustrate his points are detailed enough to drive the message home but not so bogged down with info that you browse over it.

The chapter organization flows well and is helpful in absorbing what is being said. Each chapter has a concise, bulleted conclusion for easy review.

This book is about being great with other people and can be applied to both business settings and one's personal life. Definitely a must read!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f634a8c) out of 5 stars It's Your Personal Brand, After All April 2 2013
By Mark - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Peter Shankman has done a great job pulling this together into a coherent narrative.

Ultimately, who business leaders actively ARE in their professional, daily lives and business doings is what will become their personal brand. Having worked with the leadership at more than 250 companies over the past decade, I can attest that the fish always - always - rots from the head. The good news is that true, collaborative, secure leadership is what keeps the most successful companies from that rot.

It always starts at the top. I hope this book finds a thriving audience among executives across many industry verticals.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f634e4c) out of 5 stars Leadership for the 21st Century May 6 2013
By Carolyn M. Appleton - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I discovered Peter Shankman on social media, I've kept an eye on his company, Vocus, and I've also assisted HARO ( While preparing a talk for a group of seasoned nonprofit fundraisers in 2012, I included a few insightful observations by Peter like, "Numbers don’t matter. What’s important is that you understand your audience, know what they want, and give it to them.” When I learned about the book, I bought it instantly. Every leader - regardless of organization size - should read it. Peter provides numerous helpful, real-life examples of companies whose leaders know that while providing stakeholder value, "it shouldn't be at the cost of exercising basic human decency and integrity." And, "doing the latter will usually provide the former." I enjoyed every chapter, but especially, "Customer Service-Centric" and the section, "R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find Out What it Means to Your Customers." Put this book on your "must read" list!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f634e1c) out of 5 stars Good Guys finish first. April 3 2013
By claire - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Voila, the secret to good business -- is to be nice and fair. To treat people well - so they enjoy what they do, and empower them to do it. Peter Shankman breaks it down in this new business tome. In easy to read style, it's the perfect book for all managers, aspiring managers, students and CEOs. It's an important book, for business women who may think they have to be really tough -- to be effective. As President of Nathana Josephs Communications since 1989, I knew that the old school, competitive way, of "we don't hire unless blood is dripping from their mouths" -- was wrong, it just doesn't pay to work against each other -- wroking co-operatively and with collaboration is the secret to success now, and has been for a long time. Peter captures and illustrates the benefits of doing business in a "nice" way. Bravo.