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The Power of Small: Why Little Things Make All the Difference Hardcover – Apr 21 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1 edition (April 21 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385526555
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385526555
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 13.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #94,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on April 23 2009
Format: Hardcover
As I began to read Linda Thaler Kaplan and Robin Koval's book, I was reminded of the "Broken Window Theory" that George L. Kelling and James Q. Wilson discuss in an article published in the Atlantic. As they explain, solving what may seem to be insignificant problems in an urban area (e.g. repairing broken windows) can reduce the frequency and severity of much more serious problems (e.g. violent crime). I was reminded, also, that the titles of two of Jason Jennings' books are Less Is More and It's Not the Big That Eat the Small...It's the Fast That Eat the Slow. And, that Mies van der Rohe once observed, "God is in the details." I wholeheartedly agree with Kaplan and Koval that "small" can sometimes have great power or impact and there are countless examples of that. Rather than wrestle or cross swords with Goliath, David slew him with a carefully selected, well-placed stone. And according to legend, Richard III lost his kingdom when his horse fell to the ground at Bosworth after losing a shoe "for wont of a nail." More recently and tragically, the space shuttle Challenger disaster occurred 73 seconds into its flight because of the failure of a gasket (i.e. an O-ring seal) in its right solid rocket booster. Although we cannot control everything, and small will not always have power and impact, Kaplan and Koval suggest, "Believing that it is the small things that make the greatest difference is not just an ideology - it is also timely and pragmatic advice born out of the economically challenged world we live in."

The great value of their book is derived from their pragmatic approach to all manner of situations and circumstances in which recognition and accommodation of the right details can indeed have a significant, beneficial impact. They cite retired U.C.L.A.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 26 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
All about the Golden Rule May 6 2009
By Jennifer Kydd - Published on
Format: Hardcover
THE POWER OF SMALL reminded me a lot of John Miller's QBQ series. I haven't read the previous book, THE POWER OF NICE, but I would imagine the message is much the same. All in all, Thaler and Koval are sending the message that just one small action in your life can have momentous or serendipitous consequences. By taking a moment to thank someone for a job interview, you could be setting yourself up to be chosen over a more qualified candidate. Or by escorting an old man to a room he's looking for, you could be escorting your boss's boss and thereby leaving a (favorable) memorable impression.

The point of the book is this: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It's the Golden Rule. Everyone knows it but not many actually follow it. Follow it and you will be rewarded in spades.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Self Agrandizing and Trite Sept. 26 2010
By J. King - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I read this book, rather read half then skimmed the other, in about an hour. I was immediately turned off at how often the authors referred to their own successes in terms of how much money they've made and how they've created such great icons of advertising(like the Aflac duck). I understand the concept of ethos but the level at which they mention their accomplishments borderlines on bragging. The Aflac duck...really? They could have created a pooh slinging monkey as a marketing icon for Aflac and it would've had the same, if not more pronounced, effect. I once took a marketing class and the teacher explained that using something completely random in creating a brand image is a psychological trick marketers use to get people to remember a product or service. However, it doesn't mean a duck, who's vocabulary is limited to "affflllaccc" squawked by Gilbert Godfried, used to represent an essential and important service like insurance, should be considered a brilliant work of marketing which one should use to establish themselves as qualified to give advice on achieving success. Phew...glad I got that out because the blaring irony was killing me.

Occasionally the book veers away from its self satisfying core into what may be considered somewhat useful territory. Actually I recant that last statement. The book never really gets into useful territory unless you have no common sense in which case you are going to need a lot more help than this little book can provide. Therefore, I don't recommend the senseless to read it any more than someone who has a firm grip on what it takes to achieve greatness. Therefore I will save everyone some time and summarize the crux of the book, which in itself is a good philosophy and the reason why I gave it an extra star: Set a goal, break it into smaller steps, break those into even smaller steps that can be done on a daily basis, then doggedely work to complete those steps with the highest degree of accuracy possible. Oh, and remember to say please and thank you liberally while engaging others in meaningless small talk and don't forget to pay attention to the small details in life that, when added up, can make the difference between good and great.

There. Now you know (and I didn't even have to mention the Aflac duck).
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Surprisingly Insightful May 5 2009
By Lisa Jo Rudy - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I picked this book without any great expectations - just hoping for a few insights from a big name ad exec. After reading it, I thought "well of course, this stuff is common sense." But a week later I found I was still noticing examples of the "power of small" in almost every aspect of daily life. For instance - my husband stopped (in his pickup, which carries our company name) and let another car take a left. Who knew that the driver of the car was someone who was looking for a videographer (our business)? Not only did the driver have plenty of time to read and note our company contact info, but she was also positively impressed by our kindess!

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Inspiring Read April 24 2009
By Sharon - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book really inspired me and I'm honestly not one of those self-help reading types who looks for books for inspiration. I kept hearing about this book though and saw this amazing video that showed a woman whose life was saved because of small talk ([...] It made me realize that all those times I feel helpless, I'm not. There are small things we can all do in our daily lives that can have a huge impact in both personal as well as buisness matters.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Very Relevant Read April 23 2009
By Kate - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book simply could not have come out at a better time. In a style similar to their previous book, The Power of Nice, Kaplan Thaler and Koval use engaging stories to relate their concepts in the Power of Small. Although the book is a quick and easy read, it packs a powerful messafe that will stick with you long after you put it down. From making checklists, to using visualisation to shrink down your problems into more manageable pieces, the tips provided in the book can apply to a multitude of life situations, and couldn't be more relevant to our current national crisis.

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