THE SECRET OF SUCCESS. OUTLIERS work hard and promote 'til the product or service REACHES THE TIPPING POINT, becomes RICH AND FAMOUS, then they MAKE KEY DECISIONS at FIRST BLINK!
Outliers: a book by Malcolm Gladwell shows what creates great Successes, how a man makes his mark. BLINK is about having faith in your first impulse. "THE TIPPING POINT" is my personal favorite, about how to start a tsunami of clients, a rage, a fad for your service or product. That one is an advertising man's dream. Gladwell should know how to get famous. He lived an upwardly mobile life, became all the rage in New York and I hear never misses a publishing party. Born in a small town as a Canadian black man, he rose to work at the best magazine in New York, then the best NEWSPAPER, the Washington Post. Besides Outliers, he wrote two other non-fiction best sellers "TIPPING POINT" and "BLINK" which were two huge hits. Gladwell is slightly funny looking, nobody you'd ever think would make it in life, especially with his latest hair do, the biggest 'fro you ever saw. But he is of royal blood being that he is a cousin to General Colin Powell, (his mother is Jamaican and was a therapist or as he explains it, feeling predominant. His father was a mathematician, rational, linear, two ends of the spectrum. HE says that helped him, not his Cousin Colin!)
Gladwell has had an incredible string of successes so you can believe him when he talks about LUCK, GENIUS, perseverance, breaks, talent and propinquity. He states that GENIUS isn't why the big guys are rich and famous, IQ isn't it, either. PASSION is the beginning of the road to success, but it's finally about THE PASSION TO PRACTICE. He says that if you don't do what you love for ten years, you'll never do it well. That is the main tipping point tip, get in those ten thousand hours of practice.
He gives us odd SUCCESS STORIES not just the rich and famous in "OUTLIERS" -- info like: "The Asian gift for math is about how much intensive agriculture was needed to grow rice. Brits worked fields a few hours a few seasons of the year & were drunk the rest of the time. Got lazy. Asians are focused.
Reporter Lev Grossman wrote this phenomenal thinker/writer up. See http://www.gladwell.com/outliers/index.html says "In the book, "OUTLIERS, The Story of Success," ex Washington Post and NEW YORKER reporter Malcolm Gladwell analyzed NYC JEWISH lawyers. "Why do they all have the same biography?" he wondered. "We take it for granted that there's this guy in New York who's the corporate lawyer, right? I just was curious: Why is it all the same guy?"
This was explained a little better on the CHARLIE ROSE show, tonight, which I watched. Gladwell said 'they were outsiders, their mothers cleaned buildings, or sewed at shops, on lower east side and didn't speak english, how did so many have the brass to go to NYU --albeit a second class college --and all study MERGERS and aquisitions so that when HISTORY CAUGHT up with them, they were ready. Ahead of all the YALIES and HARVARD law school grads. Masters of the Universe. It takes a special kind of brain to be curious about New York City lawyers. Such a brain belongs to Malcolm Gladwell, 45, author of The Tipping Point and Blink, the founding documents of the now best-selling genre of pop economics, which together have sold more than 4.5 million copies.
Slender, with elfin cheekbones and a distinctive bloom of spirally brown hair, Gladwell is one of those clever people who actually looks clever. His curiosity about high-achieving lawyers was the germ of his third book, Outliers, which will be published Nov. 18. It's a book about exceptional people: smart people, rich people, successful people, people who operate at the extreme outer edge of what is statistically possible. Robert Oppenheimer. Bill Gates. The Beatles. And yes, fancy lawyers.
On Charlie Rose, Gladwell spoke of how gates had the good luck to go to a high school with a computer, and this was l968. They did that for five years, then in 1973, they found another computer, a better one, at the nearby College and its keyboard was free 2 a.m til 6 a.m. only, so Bill and Paul Allen would set alarms, walk 2 miles and play on it until 6 a.m. Propinquity plus passion was Bill's formula. If you call two miles at 2 am any degree of propinquity.
Gladwell's goal is to adjust our understanding of how people like that get to where they are. Instead of the Horatio Alger story of success — a gifted child who through heroic striving within a meritocratic system becomes a successful (rich, famous, fill in your life goal here) adult — Outliers tells a story about the context in which success takes place: family, culture, friendship, childhood, accidents of birth and history and geography. "It's not enough to ask what successful people are like," Gladwell writes. "It is only by asking where they are from that we can unravel the logic behind who succeeds and who doesn't." Outliers is, in its genteel Gladwellian way, a frontal assault on the great American myth of the self-made man. (And they mostly are men. There aren't a lot of women outliers in Outliers.)
In some ways, Gladwell himself is, if not an outlier, then at least an outsider. He is both the son of a Jamaican woman in overwhelmingly white Canada (she was related to Powell) and an academic kid from a working-class town (Elmira, Ont.). But the outsider had an in: his father, a mathematician, brought him into the rarefied world of the university. That context is not unconnected to his later success. "As a kid, 11 or something, we would go to his office, and I would wander around," he says. "I got that sense that everybody was so friendly, and their doors were open. I sort of fell in love with libraries at the same time." Now Gladwell, a New Yorker staff writer, specializes in milling crunchy academic material — psychology experiments, sociological studies, law articles, statistical surveys of plane crashes and classical musicians and hockey players — into prose so silky and accessible, it passes directly into the popular imagination in the form of memes. The most obvious candidate for memification in Outliers is a little gem Gladwell calls the 10,000-Hour Rule. Studies suggest that the key to success in any field has nothing to do with talent. It's simply practice, 10,000 hours of it — 20 hours a week for 10 years.
Outliers is a more personal book than its predecessors are. If you hold it
up to the light, at the right angle, you can read it as a coded
autobiography: a successful man trying to figure out his own context, how
success happened to him and what it means. Gladwell is asking, as he puts
it over lunch, "whether successful people deserve the praise we heap on
After all, it's not as if Gladwell is a genius in any measurable sense. In
spite of his patrimony, he had no particular gift for math. He entered
college two years early but got lousy grades. ("College was not an ...
intellectually fruitful time for me," he says, with the air of a man
euphemizing strenuously.) He was fired from his first job in journalism, at
the American Spectator. It wasn't until he wound up at the Washington Post
that he really bore down and learned his craft. "I was a basket case at the
beginning, and I felt like an expert at the end," he says. "It took 10
years — exactly that long." There you have it: the 10,000-Hour Rule in
According to Outliers, genius isn't the only or even the most important
thing. Gladwell's weapon of choice when assaulting myths is the anecdote,
and one of the book's most striking, and saddest, is the strange story of
Christopher Langan, a man who despite an IQ of 195 (Einstein's was 150)
wound up working on a horse farm in rural Missouri. Why isn't he a nuclear
rocket surgeon? Because of the environment he grew up in: there was no one
in Langan's life and nothing in his background that could help him
capitalize on his exceptional gifts. "He had to make his way alone,"
Gladwell writes, "and no one — not rock stars, not professional athletes,
not software billionaires, and not even geniuses — ever makes it alone."
You get the feeling that Gladwell feels a little guilty about his success —
that on some level he thinks it should be Christopher Langan's face on the
opposite page, not his, and the fact that it isn't says something about a
world that isn't as meritocratic as it claims to be. You could read
Outliers in many ways — as a brief for affirmative action; as a critique of
political correctness (some stereotypes, like Asians being good at math,
turn out to be true); even as a defense of Big Government. But it also
explains why genius isn't enough. It makes geniuses look a bit less special
and the rest of us a bit more so. Outliers wasn't intended as
autobiography, Gladwell says. "But you could read it as an extended apology
for my success." Apology accepted.
You might look at these texts as they also have phenomenal IDEAS about
how the mind works and fate, karma, good luck and practice end up
determining WHO SUCCEEDS. Still a critic has trashed him. Read it. Then read
his books and you decide.
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