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The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindnessby Robin Koval
Synopses & Reviews
The Power of Nice
For years, we have loved a particular security guard in our Manhattan office building. In fact, most of us at The Kaplan Thaler Group think the world of him. A large, jovial man in his mid-fifties, Frank brightens people's days by giving everyone who walks into our building a huge, warm greeting. Hello, Linda Hello, Robin he'll say. Happy Friday
Frank's engaging banter changed the way we started work in the morning. Instead of simply flashing our passes anonymously and making a beeline for the elevator, we found ourselves seeking out Frank and making sure to say hello. He set a positive tone for the entire day. But we never considered how Frank might be helping our business, other than preventing intruders from entering the premises.
That is, until the day Richard Davis, the president and COO of U.S. Bank, the sixth-largest bank in the United States, came to see us. For months, our entire team at The Kaplan Thaler Group had been working to create a pitch that would wow Davis and win us the huge U.S. Bank account.
At the time of Davis's visit, it was down to the wire. We were one of two agencies still in the running for the account. Davis and his team were flying in from their executive offices in Minneapolis to meet personally with us. We didn't realize it at the time, but in fact Davis and his staff were a bit apprehensive about the kind of treatment they'd get in New York City. The furious pace and hard-bitten out of my way attitude of the Big Apple had become part of the mythology of the city. They were afraid we would be too cold, too aloof.
But when Richard Davis and his team walked into our building, they received awarm, enthusiastic greeting from Frank. When Davis reached our offices a few minutes later, he was gushing about the friendly security guard. This guy gave me a huge hello he said. And all of a sudden, I thought how could I not want to work with a company that has someone like Frank? How can I feel anything but good about hiring an agency like that? We won the account.
Of course, Davis wouldn't have awarded us the job if he wasn't impressed with our work. But we've gotta give Frank credit. With a multimillion-dollar account in the balance, it was Frank's warm hello that helped us cinch the deal.
That is the power of nice.
The security guard wins the heart of the COO. It might sound like a Disney movie, but we can assure you it was no fantasy. We wrote The Power of Nice because we completely disagreed with the conventional wisdom that Nice guys finish last and No good deed goes unpunished. Our culture has helped to propagate the myth of social Darwinism-of survival of the fittest-that the cutthroat me vs. you philosophy wins the day. One of the biggest-selling career books in the past few years is called Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office, Yet this completely contradicts the way we have run our business and our lives. In less than a decade, we built The Kaplan Thaler Group into a powerhouse in advertising with close to $1 billion in billings, making it one of the nation's fastest-growing advertising agencies. Our success was won not with pitchforks and spears, but with flowers and chocolates. Our growth is the result not of fear and intimidation, but of smiles and compliments.
Time and time again, we have seen the extraordinary power of nice in ourbusiness dealings and in our personal lives. It is the patient passenger who politely asks the airline ticket agent to please check one more time who gets the first-class upgrade, rather than the I'm a triple platinum member blowhard. It is the driver who is polite and apologetic to the police officer wh
An innovative approach to get to the top in the world of business explains how to build a successful business and career through cooperation, kindness, trust, and fair play, using real-life examples from the business arena to demonstrate such benefits as lower recruitment costs, higher productivity, and lower employee turnover. 40,000 first printing.
Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval have moved to the top of the advertising industry by following a simple but powerful philosophy: it pays to be nice. Where so many companies encourage a dog eat dog mentality, the Kaplan Thaler Group has succeeded through chocolate and flowers. In The Power of Nice, through their own experiences and the stories of other people and businesses, they demonstrate why, contrary to conventional wisdom, nice people finish first.
Turning the well-known adage of “Nice Guys Finish Last” on its ear, The Power of Nice shows that “nice” companies have lower employee turnover, lower recruitment costs, and higher productivity. Nice people live longer, are healthier, and make more money. In today’s interconnected world, companies and people with a reputation for cooperation and fair play forge the kind of relationships that lead to bigger and better opportunities, both in business and in life.
Kaplan Thaler and Koval illustrate the surprising power of nice with an array of real-life examples from the business arena as well as from their personal lives. Most important, they present a plan of action covering everything from creating a positive impression to sweetening the pot to turning enemies into allies. Filled with inspiration and suggestions on how to supercharge your career and expand your reach in the workplace, The Power of Nice will transform how you live and work.
About the Author
LINDA KAPLAN THALER is the CEO and chief creative officer and ROBIN KOVAL is the chief marketing officer of the Kaplan Thaler Group. Ranked as the fastest growing advertising agency in the United States by leading industry publications, the agency has won thirteen Clio Awards. Kaplan Thaler and Koval are the coauthors of Bang!. They live in the New York metropolitan area.
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