THE POWER OF SMALL by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval

The Power of Small, Why Little Things Make All the Difference, by Linda Kaplan Thaler, and Robin Koval


Our smallest actions and gestures often have the most impact on our biggest goals. Bigger isn’t always better and taking baby steps can be a competitive advantage. Steps like holding an elevator for a stranger make a difference in our lives and shape how we approach other things.  The book’s message is that 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 and the real secret to getting ahead is to refocus our attention on the small details. Thaler and Koval show how to get more of what you want with less.

Thaler says: “we often find our best clues to what a client may like or dislike during the small talk before we sit down to a formal meeting… Our point: Small talk is anything but idle chatter. In fact, it’s the glue that cements so many relationships. Yet when we make small talk, too many of us tend to turn the subject of the conversation quickly back to ourselves, a subject infinitely less interesting to the other person.”

The authors comment on what others have written about the delusion of multitasking saying:  “We may be the first generation to find that more information is actually making us dumber, and less productive.” The increased use of digital devices “thwarts our best intentions to focus on and complete the job at hand—much less overdeliver… By not fully paying attention to the other person and his or her needs, we deny ourselves the opportunity to create empathy and an emotional attachment with the other person.”

The book sums up the thoughts presented saying, “that little thing you do that is special and shows what makes you different, what sets you apart from somebody else. It is often the small act that shows you care, that proves the project or other person matters to you. It affords you a chance to show off your initiative. This can be especially important when you’re meeting someone for the first time.”