Book Review: Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell

Recipe for Success

Mix in an average person

  • 1 cup natural talent
  • 2 cups hard-work
  • 2 cups opportunity

Best served anytime, anywhere…..

outliers coverOk, so that might not be Malcolm Gladwell’s edict on success – but it’s the best summation I can give you. I’ve read many of his books – Blink, The Tipping Pointand this one, like those, was riveting.

Have you ever wondered why some cultures seem to breed more hard-working young? Or there is an exponentially larger number of, stereotypically or not, Asian math whiz’s? Or why so many Jews are doctors and lawyers? Do you know the kid who, at 5, can negotiate his/her way into or out of situations – showing no fear of adults or their assumed “authority”?  What is to be said for the opportunities and exposure these people had as children?

This is exactly the case that Gladwell makes in Outliers. Opportunity must be present in order for hard work and talent to be truly impactful. These three ingredients – moreover, the latter of the two in my aforementioned, fictional recipe – must work in harmony in order to propel us forward.

As in all of Gladwell’s works of non-fictional mastery, Outliers is comprised of short tales designed to explain the points he is making. They, themselves, are entertaining – and when told in succession pack a powerful punch. Whether the story is of Bill Gates (fascinating) or of Bill Joy (an inconnue to me prior to this read) – when told together, the stories illuminate me to Gladwell’s perspective. Moreover, I think he is right!

What I also find fascinating is that this is one of the books on our “optional” reading list for Yoga Teacher Training (that I’m doing thru Y2 Yoga, duh!) – I can’t wait to see if we delve further into it, as I’m not sure where it fits into the puzzle.

Have you read this or any of Gladwell’s books? What do you think about his views? Please share with us – I, for one, really find this interesting……

Rachael’s Grade:

Writing: A

Character Development: n/a

Plot: A

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8 Responses to Book Review: Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell

  1. Pingback: Books for Consultants - Consultant Base Camp

  2. Pingback: Blink and Decide « J-WorQProjeQs – Retail Operations Specialist

  3. Jax says:

    And another cup of the right attitude. This was my first MG book, and I truly enjoyed reading it -so what do you think should go next, Blink or The Tipping Point?

    • Rachael says:

      thanks Jax – glad you enjoyed the post….and the book, of course! The two others are so different – so it’s hard to say there is an order. Personally, I liked Blink best…..(I also read Tipping Point a LONG TIME AGO! – I should re-read it); it deals with intuition, a subject in which I’m truly fascinated. Let me know what you think – maybe you can post to my blog about it?

  4. Joseph Praba says:

    Nice review on Outliers, Rachael. I am reading it now. In fact almost 60% into it and enjoying every page! What a fabulous book and great writer Gladwell is.

    Just dropped by to say ‘Hey’ and thanks for the blog. Cheers!

  5. Jax Beach says:

    That would be an honor 🙂 so I guess Blink it is but I’m also into intuitive thing. Rachi, you look like RRay you’re so pretty, with that being said, you should grab a gravatar.

  6. Pingback: Connectors, Mavens and Sales(person) | Startup Iceland

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