You may or may not know anything about baseball, but you likely know Leo Durocher, aka “Leo the Lip.” He was the legendary manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, the Chicago Cubs, and was the one to coin the phrase “Nice Guys Finish Last.”
“Leo the Lip” was inferring that winners must embody a certain cutthroat and aggressive agenda and ruthlessness to become winners. Nice guys, aka non-winners, are losers.
While it’s true, performers in many areas must maintain a certain focus on the prize, an unwavering commitment to a pinpointed attention to detail and a highly competitive spirit to get what they want, nowhere is it written that you can’t be nice and win (achieve their goals) at the same time.
Do you know Gil Shaham, Jennifer Higdon, Yo-Yo Ma, Brooklyn Rider, Philip Glass, Simone Dinnerstein, Andre Watts, Orion Weiss, JoAnn Falletta, Lynn Harrell, Shai Wosner and the Kronos Quartet?
Being nice seems to be working out for them quite nicely. They take an interest in those they meet from the audience, in the Green Room and with members of the media. They are genuinely interested in connecting with all other interested parties regardless of their classical music experience and know how. They’re also nice to logistics people and members of the service industry as well.
If they’ve met you once before, they remember you and your story. They are also humble and soft spoken.
If you’re already nice, stay with it no matter what. If you’re not, “try it: you’ll like it.”
And over time, so will your current and future fans.