Book Summary: The Power of Nice How to Conquer Business World by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval

The Kaplan Thaler Group is an advertising firm with $1Billion in revenue. The founders attribute its success to the hard work and “the Power of Nice.” Any book written by business women doing a billion in revenue is worth reading. Some things to consider when being NICE: Nice is luckier in love, Nice makes more money, Nice is healthier and Nice spends less time in court.

Why is this important to me?

I don’t want to waste your time. The goal is to provide you with high value content that you can use today. Two critical points about fostering team work is sharing the credit and being nice.

Jay Leno, the host of the Tonight Show, celebrated their tenth anniversary by giving each staff member $1,000 for each year of service. He did this out of his own pocket. Some members have been with him the whole time and there are 175 people that work on the show. Jay is the ultimate nice guy. The title of the show is “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” not The Tonight Show STARRING Jay Leno”. This subtle difference sums up the whole book.

Linda interviewed Warren Buffet and read in his bio that he loves Cherry Soda. When she met him, she gave him a Cherry Soda and his response was “Linda, I will tell you everything you want to know because you brought me a Cherry Soda. Simple gestures can move mountains.

The Power of Nice consists of 10 chapters and is an easy reading book. For the sake of time, I will profile three key concepts

Sweeten the Deal – When you work with clients or prospects, feed them. This simple gesture will win you more business. Your caring has to be genuine and not phony otherwise people will see right through you. We are unique with all of our sales calls and service installations in our business. We bring bagels, muffins and coffee to each engagement. I can tell you for a fact that we are the only company in our space that does this and I can tell you that this helped us win four of our biggest deals in company history. People want to work with a considerate team.

Help your enemies – Business is circular and you never know where people end up or who they can influence. If you strive for win/win relationships and you know your competitor can service a type of account better than you can then you need to pass the business to them. You never know what the future holds. George Washington insisted that prisoners of war be treated well. He knew that after the war, these people would be neighbors to the soldiers. Today’s enemy is tomorrows ally.

Shut up and Listen – Active listening builds rapport plus you cannot learn when your mouth is moving. Listening and asking questions affords you the luxury of helping people discover their issues without criticism. You also want to tell the truth because if you are faking being nice then people will smell that a mile away and not work with you. People want to work with people they like.

The Power of Nice is a book worth reading. In a rushed world, the simple principles are sometimes forgotten. Being nice to people will come around for you full circle. Emerson’s law of compensation basically says if you want more then give more. True givers are NICE and kind people.

I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is to question your criticisms. Instead of being critical or attacking a behavior of somebody, ask a question about the result. If the window is open, don’t say “Shut the window” instead ask “Is it cold in here?” The result will be the same – a closed window.

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