A USA TODAY, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal bestseller

In a follow-up to their national bestseller, THE POWER OF NICE, co-authors Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval once again tackle conventional wisdom with a provocative and counterintuitive book on the importance of sweating the small stuff in our lives and in our careers. They call it THE POWER OF SMALL.

Our smallest actions and gestures often have outsize impact on our biggest goals, from getting the dream job to finishing the marathon with a personal best. 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?

Bigger isn’t always better, especially when dealing with today’s challenges. 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.

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.

So get SMALL and get going!

Mon, April 08, 2013 - 12:12:40

Imagine a Nicer Universe

For many years, we’ve hoped that one day we would have the chance to work with the ADL and help them spread their mission of putting an end to bigotry and hatred around the world. Recently, our agency was asked to create a video celebrating the ADL’s 100th anniversary, so naturally, we jumped at the opportunity.

As we contemplated what kind of film we’d create, we sadly recalled all of the lives that have been cut short by hate crimes: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Anne Frank, Matthew Shepard, and Yitzhak Rabin to name a few. How much could each one of them have accomplished in a different kind of world?

We could only imagine. That’s when the idea hit us: what if we imagined a world without hate? In that world, we would be celebrating all of the accomplishments we can now only dream of.

The result is a video we’re deeply proud of—one that took a simple, emotional idea, touched peoples’ hearts, and made an impact. We hope you’ll share it with the people who have touched your own life.

And it all started with a simple idea: imagine what the world would be like if there was no hate. What if instead, people were only kind to one another?

We shouldn’t have to wonder. One by one, we can all help to make this movement happen. In your work, in your life, in your relationships…everywhere, if there’s one thing we want you to take away from this blog, it’s that nothing we do is insignificant. Even one random act of kindness can be transformational.

There is untapped potential in each action we take, large or small. Even the tiniest good deed can have a multiplier effect powerful enough to do big things. You just have to give it the opportunity to flourish.

So, let’s all take the next little step together. And then keep on going until we change the world.


Posted by Linda and Robin
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Mon, March 11, 2013 - 2:04:55

It’s the Thought That Counts

There’s no question that compensation is an important part of job satisfaction. But, contrary to conventional wisdom, money isn’t the primary motivator for most professionals. A kind manager can be just as effective, if not more. As it turns out, even in the business world, it’s really the thought that counts.

Research has shown that “cold, hard cash” bonuses can still provide a motivational boost, but better still are gestures with a warmer sentiment. In fact, multiple studies have found that more personal efforts, like giving a gift as a token of thanks, providing personal mentorship, and verbally conveying feedback are all more effective.

In 2011, McKinsey conducted a study that revealed some rather surprising findings. All emotionally based motivators, including attention from higher ups and opportunities for leadership roles, were more effective than financial ones. Particularly powerful was praise from a direct manager.  67% of participants in the study rated it “effective” or “extremely effective.”
Just like a kind and helpful remark, a thoughtful little gift can make a big difference too. As Ray Fisman writes on, in a study called “The Currency of Reciprocity: Gift Exchange in the Workplace,” German and Swiss researchers found that gifts were far more motivating than unexpected cash bonuses, and could improve productivity by up to 20 percent. What’s more, the study found that small, personalized gifts spur the highest levels of motivation and loyalty. For example, a book on photography may be a more inspirational gift to an Instagram-addicted employee than a gift card to the local coffee shop.

They’re just two examples of how going the extra inch can have a profound effect on the happiness of your employees. Showing them that they are valued as individuals makes their jobs mean more than just a paycheck. Encouraging them to continue their great work? Now, that’s the real bonus.

Posted by Linda and Robin
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