ROBIN KOVAL, CEO TRUTH INITIATIVE.
Before leading the famous Truth anti-smoking initiative, Robin Koval created and led one of NY’s biggest advertising agencies. We sat with the Madison ave. legend to hear what she’s learned on her way to the top.
1- THINK SMALL
People often talk about “thinking big”, but Robin believes that in order to be successful you have to learn to think small: get up close and familiarise yourself with the small details. “The best ideas happen when you look at two little things that you never would have thought of putting together. You don’t get that unless you sweat the details”.
It’s great being born rich or talented, but those things are less important to success than Guts, Resilience Initiative and Tenacity. This is an empowering idea since you can’t control the other factors. As Mike Bloomberg put it: “the secret to my success is figured out early on that would never be the smartest guy in the room, so I would be the hardest working”.
3- THE “NICE” SANDWICH
When you need to have a tough conversation with somebody, the most effective way to get the results you seek is to start with a compliment, recognizing the person’s effort and work, then bringing attention to what needs to improve and end with a genuine declaration of confidence in the person’s ability to deliver.
Robin is a New York Times best-selling author and CEO and president of Truth Initiative, a nonprofit tobacco control organization best known for its Truth youth smoking prevention campaign. She also co-founded The Kaplan Thaler Group and later served as the CEO of Publicis Kaplan Thaler (now Publicis New York), New York’s fifth largest advertising agency through November 2013.