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The Power of Small: Why Little Things Make All the Difference [Hardcover]

Linda Kaplan Thaler , Robin Koval
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

April 21 2009

The authors of the national bestseller THE POWER OF NICE once again tackle conventional wisdom with a provocative and counterintuitive book about the importance of sweating the small stuff in our lives and in our careers.

Our smallest actions and gestures often have outsized impact on our biggest goals, say Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval. Did you double-check that presentation one last time, or hold the elevator for a stranger? Going that extra inch – whether with a client, customer, family member, or friend – speaks volumes to others about our talent, personality, and motivations. After all, if we can’t take care of the small details, how can we be counted on to deliver when it really matters?

In today’s challenging times, bigger isn’t always better. In fact, it’s often the baby steps that put us on the path to delivering a true competitive advantage. The real secret to getting ahead in life and in our careers is to refocus our attention on the small details that, if disregarded, can sabotage a multimillion-dollar ad campaign or undermine your most important relationships. Kaplan Thaler and Koval show how to get more of what you want with surprisingly less than you’d imagine.

Written in the same entertaining, story-driven style that made THE POWER OF NICE the go-to book for finishing first, THE POWER OF SMALL demonstrates how all of us can harness the power of small to improve and reinvent our lives. It’s the ultimate guide to shrinking your outlook to broaden your horizons.

Get SMALL and get going!

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The Power of Small: Why Little Things Make All the Difference + The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World With Kindness
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Advance Praise for The Power of Small

 “Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval take on the conventional wisdom that bigger is better and show how thinking small gives you a true competitive advantage in life. For best results, get Small now. This little book can make a huge difference in your life.”
—James Patterson, bestselling author, former CEO of J. Walter Thompson

“I love this book! I’ve always known that little things make all the difference, and now Thaler and Koval have written a book to show you how to benefit from this powerful concept. If you read and apply the ideas in this small book, it will make a big difference in your success.”
—Mark Sanborn, bestselling author of The Fred Factor, President of Sanborn & Associates, Inc.

“Anyone who has tried to sleep with a mosquito in the room knows the impact of something small. But the positive impact of little things is even greater, as Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval show so elegantly in their latest book.”
—Deborah Norville

“Once you’ve read The Power of Small, you will never look at the world the same way again. When you re-orient your perspective to look for the magic in the little things, life’s mountains become manageable molehills.”
—Cynthia Nixon

“Anyone who is successful can look back at one small thing they did for someone or someone did for them that meant so much, and made the difference in their career. Those small things are what lay the foundation for success. That’s what this book is all about.” —Jay Leno

About the Author

LINDA KAPLAN THALER is CEO and chief creative officer and ROBIN KOVAL is president of THE KAPLAN THALER GROUP, creators of pop-culture icons like the Aflac Duck. Together, Kaplan Thaler and Koval have been featured on Today, the Martha Stewart Show, and Nightline, as well as in USA TODAY, the New York Times, and BusinessWeek, among many others. Kaplan Thaler and Koval each live in New York.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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) 4.0 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All about the Golden Rule May 6 2009
By Jennifer Kydd - Published on
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.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Insightful May 5 2009
By Lisa Jo Rudy - Published on
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Read April 24 2009
By Sharon - Published on
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Relevant Read April 23 2009
By Kate - Published on
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Small but punchy March 15 2011
By Deb - Published on
Living up to its name, this petite book does demonstrate how small can deliver a mighty powerful punch. Highly readable and engaging, _The Power of Small_ provides plentiful proof (via interesting stories and clear explanations) for times when the small really does make a huge difference. The one small (or maybe not so small depending on your tolerance factor) catch of the book is the authors' frequent promotion of their own advertising agency--over 20 times in the short 130 pages of the book. But, if you can look beyond their patting themselves on the backs and appreciate the hidden gems scattered throughout,it's certainly worth a read. The small investment in time it takes to read this book does deliver some powerful payoffs.

[I could write more, but I want to keep this review small and to-the-point. :) ]
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