Linda Kaplan Thaler: From Grit to Great-Resiliance Over Talent


“If you have resiliance you can do anything.”

Linda is the founder of Publicis Kaplan Thaler. She’s responsible for some of America’s most iconic campaigns, including the Aflac duck and Clariol Herbal Essence ads. Linda has also authored and composed jingles that are among the most beloved in the American pop culture like “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, I’m A Toys ‘R’ Us Kid” and “Kodak Moments”.

Linda will teach you the key to success based on what she observed in her life and from people like Colin Powell, Michael Jordan and Steven Spielberg. And no, it’s not the “IT” factor of being brilliant at school. Then, she’ll tell you why taking it easy as we grow old isn’t the best thing to do. In fact, it’s the opposite. Listen as she shares the story of her 89 year-old friend who developed “neurobics” or brain exercise.

Linda will then share how peak performers like Muhammad Ali and Nik Wallenda perpetually achieve their goals through over-preparedness. You’ll discover the secret sauce to standing out from the crowd and getting noticed by people you look up to.

And lastly, you’ll learn what you should start telling yourself TODAY if you want to succeed in life.


In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What drove her to successfully build a billion dollar ad agency from scratch and launch bestselling books, one after the other.
  • How Linda was able to integrate Angela Duckworth’s study on grit on her new book, “Grit To Great”.
  • What is neurobics and how it can “pump up” your brain in order to achieve optimal performance.
  • What do peak performers can teach you about over-preparing and how you can apply those lessons to your business.
  • What should individuals do to stand out in a corporate setting.
  • Her greatest instruction to people who want to get ahead in life – and it’s totally the opposite of what they teach you in school.


  • You can achieve greatness by developing your grit
  • I know anywhere I go, I will never, ever, ever be the smartest person in the room. But I will outwork everybody and that’s why I succeed
  • Happiness is not the absence of problems. Happiness is how you feel when you solved a problem
  • Life is a marathon; it’s not a sprint. If it takes you 10 or 20 years, so what?
  • However hard you think you’re working, work another 30 minutes or another 40 minutes
  • I don’t care what you’re used to doing, do it more
  • You can accomplish anything in your lifetime as long as you’re not willing to take credit for all of it – Harry Truman

Big Takeaways:

  • Only 2% of prodigies have accomplished a level of success. Whereas 98% of people who are ahead of the game don’t possess anything special other than perseverance and resilience.
  • You don’t have to be the strongest, the fastest or the smartest in the room. You just got to have the most grit.
  • You can develop your grit whatever age you are. Whether you’re an 8 year-old kid or a 95 year-old adult, you can achieve more than what society expects you to get.
  • Learning new things such as languages, sports or arts prevent you from suffering dementia and Alzheimer’s.
  • Experiencing fear has something to do with being unprepared more than anything else. If we only invest extra time preparing ourselves before an important event, fear will totally abandon us.
  • Failure and rejection are part of any business. And it’s easy to have a change of heart and try something new. But only resiliency can keep you to move along and stick with your primary goals.

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