Beautiful little baby boyTo most of us, courtesy and consideration are almost second nature. However, Michael Fertik — founder of — says that when we assume a leadership capacity, being “too nice” can actually be detrimental to our organizations.

In a guest blog for the Harvard Business Review, Fertik says:

Many yield to [the instinct to be nice], because it feels much easier to be liked. Few people want to be the bad guy. But leaders are also expected to make the tough decisions that serve the company or the team’s best interests. Being too nice can be lazy, inefficient, irresponsible, and harmful to individuals and the organization.

Fertik sets out several scenarios in which a leader’s being “too nice” can be counterproductive. When managing a difficult or non-productive employee, for example, a clean cut may be the best strategy for both the employee and the company, even though it may be the most difficult move to make.

I encourage those who are working in leadership capacities in law firms to consider Fertik’s words, and to determine how his thoughts may be applied to the work you do. As always, I invite your feedback on this and any other subject either through the Comments section below, or directly via email.