The Lesson About Success In Outliers By Malcolm Gladwell

July 13, 2021 by Essay Writer

The book written by Malcolm Gladwell introduces the idea that there is more to success than just hard work. It matters in what era you were born, where you are from, or where your ancestors are from. Who are your parents, and what opportunities you have been given during your childhood are also important factors in one’s success.

What does an outlier mean? Outlier is “1: something that is situated away from or classed differently from a main or related body; 2: a statistical observation that is markedly different in value from the others of the sample” (p.3). When looking at something successful, either person or a company, don’t just look at the life of that object, look deeper. Look at what made them become what they are now, or who influenced them.

In each chapter of the book, Gladwell shows the audience a well-known story of successful people, what they are like, and how they reached the top on their own. But then the story takes a quick turn, and we are asking a question if it is really true. The author provides evidence over and over that people they surround themselves by and consequences they find themselves in play a big role in the outcome of their lives.

For example, in hockey it makes a difference if you are born at the beginning or the end of the year. If you are born between January to March, there is a higher chance you will become a great professional hockey player than if you were born in December. It also matters what family you are born into. If you are from a poor family with 3 other siblings, without dad, and frequently relocating, or from a wealthy family in Manhattan where your parents support you with all they can, is going to make a big difference in who you are going to become, and how successful you are going to be. To get a bigger picture, you need to know where your ancestors come from. The country you were born in is going to impact your future, too. Different cultures and experiences will influence the decisions you will make later in your life.

I found it very hard to find things that I learned regarding leadership in this book. Mainly because this book is more about the timing the successful people found themselves in and the opportunities they were given. But I managed to find some and I hope they are correct, so here they are.

When Malcolm introduces us to the story of Christopher Langan, you immediately see how smart Chris is, but never reaches his potential to change the world. Why is that? Being just smart is not enough. You need to know how to talk to people, and not just communicate, but communicate effectively. I believe that being able to talk efficiently to your co-workers, employees, or employers is a crucial part of leadership, and one to be good at.

Next leadership trait I’m going to take from the Outliers is one from Joe Flom. Son of Jewish immigrants, who studied at Harvard Law School and became one of the best attorneys in the United States. When he started working at a law firm, he was working on all kinds of different cases. The biggest law firms at that time were focusing just on a one particular set of cases they were working on, but not Flom. What I learned from this story is to go for any job opportunity I’m offered or given. Since you never know what next opportunity might be, or if there ever will be one again. Therefore, when there is a possibility, just go for it.

The last attribute that I’m going to take away and use in my future is not from one part of the book, it’s from the book as a whole. It is how in future I’m going to perceive and process the information that I’m given. Look at the bigger picture when someone is telling me a story, look beyond the individual. Look deeper into the story, because not everything is as it seems.

1) I agree with almost everything what author of this book writes, but the only thing I’m not on board with him completely is when he writes about Harlan, Kentucky. There were two families fighting each other, The Howards and Turners. They were not just a small fist fights, the family members were actually killing each other. And what Gladwell states as a reason for this behavior is their heritage. Their ancestors originated from the United Kingdom, and they were ‘Scotch-Irish’. I don’t agree with Malcolm that the cause of the fight between the families was because of where their Grand-grand-grand parents came from. Back then the shooting wasn’t something extraordinary since there were lots of fights in other villages too. That’s why I believe that there had to be more to the hate between the families than just legacy.

2) The most important thing I’m going to take away from reading this book is the 10,000 – hour rule. To become an expert in anything, you need ten thousand hours of practice to get to that level. No one was born with such a talent where that person wouldn’t need to practice at all and be called a genius. Beatles would not be considered one of the best bands in the world, if it wasn’t for Hamburg and their eight-hour long performances a night. Even Mozart, the genius of music, his childhood works were not that good. The first masterwork he wrote was when he was twenty-one, ten years after he started composing. The reason why I chose this particular point is that anyone can achieve excellence if they work hard enough. It is hard to do all the hours alone, you will need unbreakable will, people supporting you along the way, such as family and friends, but it is possible for everyone.

3) I would certainly recommend this book to people who have close ties to the business world and they want to learn about success. Gladwell shows you a different perspective of how you should look at the information that is presented to you.


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