Linda Kaplan Thaler
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Linda Kaplan Thaler

Advertising Hall of Famer, Branding Expert, Entrepreneur and Best-Selling Author


Linda Kaplan Thaler helps audiences around the globe tap into their incredible power of grit, perseverance and determination to succeed at the highest levels in their careers and professions, and in their personal lives. She also speaks extensively about how the "power of nice" is the most powerful leadership tool in business today, as well as how to make any environment a hotbed of creativity and innovation.

The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness

Linda Kaplan Thaler has moved to the top of the advertising industry by following a simple but powerful philosophy: it pays to be nice. In her The Power of Nice lectures, through her own experiences and the stories of other people and businesses, she demonstrates why, contrary to conventional wisdom, nice people finish first.

Turning the well-known adage of “Nice Guys Finish Last” on its ear, “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.

The Power of Small: Why Little Things Make All the Difference

Our smallest actions and gestures often have outsized impact on our biggest goals: 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?

In today’s challenging times, bigger isn’t always better. In fact, it’s often the baby steps that put us on the path to delivering a true competitive advantage. Kaplan Thaler shows how to get more of what you want with surprisingly less than you’d imagine.

Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary

In her Grit to Great lectures, Linda Kaplan Thaler tackles a topic that is close to her heart, one she believes is the real secret to her own success and in the careers of so many people she knows and has met. New research proves that the real secret to success isn't some rarefied “It” factor, it’s the “grit” factor. And each and every one of us can possess it.

Drawing on the latest research in positive psychology and personal success, as well as a cornucopia of stories and practical “how to” tips and exercises, Thaler discusses why those who develop and possess the character traits of grit (Guts, Resilience, Initiative and Tenacity) outperform individuals with genius IQ’s, virtuoso talent, unlimited financial resources or a private school education. Individuals with high grit quotient do better in school, work, the playing field, in relationships and life. Her message is relevant to a broad range of audiences from entry level employees and budding entrepreneurs to C-Suite executives. Her inspiring message is that grit is something we all can embrace and develop whether you are nine or ninety.

Meet Linda Kaplan Thaler

Linda Kaplan Thaler helps audiences around the globe tap into their incredible power of grit, perseverance and determination to succeed at the highest levels in their careers and professions, and in their personal lives. She also speaks extensively about how the "power of nice" is the most powerful leadership tool in business today, as well as how to make any environment a hotbed of creativity and innovation.

Advertising Hall of Famer Linda Kaplan Thaler is one of most renowned advertising and marketing gurus in the country. Creating an agency that grew to over $2 billion in billings, with a client roster that included Aflac (they created the feisty Aflac duck), Wendy’s, Clairol Herbal Essences (the “Yes! Yes! Yes!” campaign), and Toys “R” Us (she composed the “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” tune, which is arguably America’s longest-running jingle), Linda is celebrated for her breakthrough creative work in the industry. She is well known in media circles, commenting on branding, advertising, marketing, leadership and personal growth, and has been featured on CNN, TODAY, Good Morning America, Fox News and The Apprentice. Linda hosted Oxygen’s Making It Big reality series as well as Mark Burnett’s Jingles. She has also been a member of the presidential ad teams for both Bill and Hillary Clinton’s runs.

Linda is a New York Times best-selling author and, along with Robin Koval, has co-authored books on leadership, creativity and branding which include Bang! Getting Your Message Heard in a Noisy World, The Power of Small: Why Little Things Make All the Difference and The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness. Their most recent book, Grit to Great, is listed as one of the top business books of 2015.

Some of Linda’s keynotes have included conferences for Wendy’s, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Virtuoso Travel, Procter & Gamble and John Maxwell’s leadership simulcast, as well as university talks at Yale, Baruch, Pace, Columbia and the Colin Powell School at CCNY.

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Global Marketing Officer, Procter & Gamble (2001-2008); Author, Unleashing the Innovators: How Mature Companies Find New Life with Startups and Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies

CEO and Founder, Humu; SVP of People Operations at Google (2006 – 2016) and Best-Selling Author of Work Rules!

Former Executive at Tesla Motors, Apple Computer and GAP Inc.