Can nice guys and gals finish first? Two provocative new books say the cold, cutthroat approach to business is so 20th century. These authors say playing nice may make you rich (and certainly happier), so get ready to practice warm-and-fuzzy techniques on your next business trip.

LOVE IS THE KILLER APP: HOW TO WIN BUSINESS AND INFLUENCE FRIENDS
By Tim Sanders, Crown Business, $21

If you’re tired of swimming with the sharks, get ready to purr with the lovecats and learn a new mantra — NSPS, for Nice, Smart People Succeed. According to Sanders, chief solutions office yahoo!, "lovecats" are the new breed of business winners, endlessly seeking and sharing knowledge, selflessly networking for the good of others, and showing genuine (not phony) compassion for their fellow working humans, even when that means heartfelt hugs in the workplace. Sanders’ lovespeak can get cloying — does he really call his colleagues “littermates?” — but give him credit for trying to counter the smashmouth tactics of the Attila-Machiavelli-Chainsaw Al school of corporate warriors. Sanders says it’s possible to gain at least a chunk of the world without losing your soul. Let’s hope he’s right.

MAKE YOUR OWN LUCK: SUCCESS TACTICS YOU WON’T LEARN IN B-SCHOOL
By Peter Kash with Tom Monte, Prentice Hall, $23

Peter Kash’s kinder, gentler approach may be just the pick-me-up for people with a case of the economic and sociological blahs. Kash is a firm believer in what comes around, goes around. He invites business people to use the “Web of Life” — a kind of mysterious six degrees of separation idea that links everyone, by coincidence and purpose. Your seatmate on today’s flight, he says, may be your business partner tomorrow.