The Power of Small: Why Little Things Make a Difference

At a time when all of us are feeling overwhelmed by big challenges that seem beyond our control, The Power of Small: Why Little Things Make All the Difference (Doubleday; April 2009; $17.95 hardcover) by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval reminds us that we can conquer the big stuff with small steps and by paying attention to the tiny details that can make big impressions.

Written in the same entertaining, funny, yet insightful narrative that helped make their previous book The Power of Nice a national bestseller, The Power of Small tackles the oversized role that little things at work and at home have to play in our careers and personal lives.

The authors cite the latest psychological research, and advice from athletes, celebrities and business leaders to show how "focusing on the trees as well as the forest" can advance your career, make an impression on a date or on the job, and help you achieve goals of any kind. Whether its thanking a client for a gift, dashing off a note to a friend or colleague, or checking a document for the umpteenth time, it's the little things that make big impressions.

Woven in with this wisdom are inspiring stories of big achievements from such unassuming heroes as:
  • a man who's career took off after getting a new haircut
  • an explorer who reached the summit of Mount Everest step by step
  • a woman whose life was saved by sharing a cup of coffee with a stranger
  • a man who landed a job interview because he went the extra inch to get there during a snow storm
  • a busboy who earned a $150,000 tip because he made a small suggestion that saved his employer big bucks
Thaler and Koval also share how thinking small has been the secret to their own success in advertising from an obsession with detail, to small talk that seals the big deal at a presentation, to breaking down their big goals into 20,000 little ones.

"Small, seemingly insignificant acts are powerful agents of change and growth -- if we pay attention to them," write the authors.

Linda Kaplan Thaler is the CEO and chief creative officer and Robin Koval is president of the Kaplan Thaler Group, one of the fastest growing advertising agencies in America. Together, Kaplan Thaler and Koval have been featured on Today, Good Morning America, The Martha Stewart Show, and Nightline, as well as in USA Today, the New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, and BusinessWeek, among other publications. Kaplan Thaler and Koval each live in New York.