What Makes a "Great Guy"?

"So and so is a great guy," I said.

A few minutes later my lunch partner noted, "And Jake, he’s just a great guy, a really great guy."

And it struck me: What is a "great guy"? (Note: this applies equally to women, I think "guy" has become gender neutral like "dude".)

When someone asks somebody else about you, what will the person say? What will their first words be? Some possibilities:

  • Great guy
  • Nice guy
  • Smart guy
  • Funny guy
  • Interesting guy

For me, the top of the pecking order is "great guy." I don’t call everyone a great guy — just those people who fully encompass all the above characteristics. Nice (not an asshole), smart (not dim), funny (not humorless), interesting (not dull).

I’m obsessed with finding out what "A players" have in common (and how I can spend more time with them), and I think it’s a total package of these key characteristics. If someone is brilliant but humorless, I wouldn’t use the label "great guy." If someone is super nice but a pushover, same thing.

Speaking of great guys, Colin Wiel is a great guy (an official Friend of Ben no less), and I had the pleasure of seeing him again at the Keiretsu holiday party the other night, and we had a rare photo op:


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