Outliers: The Story of Success


Outliers: The Story of Success 
Author Malcolm Gladwell
Title Outliers: The Story of Success
Category Succession Planning
0141036257 / 978-0141036250  
Publisher Penguin Books, Limited
Country UK
Published 01-Aug-2009
No of Pages 320

Tell A Friend

Add to my Reading list


Outliers: The Story of Success is a book that everyone ought to read. The book offers a fresh perspective of the story of success; how it is reached and actualized. The book describes people of talent, intelligence, and of ideal circumstances who managed to reach global levels of success and recognition. On the other hand, it also refers to geniuses with extreme high levels of intelligence (outliers), who have failed to evolve into their true potential and perhaps missed opportunities to unfold the secrets of the universe.

What is an outlier? An outlier is defined as a value that lies outside (could be much smaller or much larger) from the other values in a set of data. In the case of the book, Gladwell studies people or a group of people who have been seen as outliers due to their immense, world recognized and lasting success, such as the Beatles and Bill Gates.

The argument Gladwell makes in the book is simple; are innate ability and intelligence the key ingredients of success of these outliers or is it pure luck of being born in the right family, at the right time, or being born and raised in the right place?

Gladwell, talks about the significance of the 10,000 hour rule.
10, - 000 were the amount of hours the Beatles practiced their music and Bill Gates completed in computer programming before they could taste a glimpse of their own stardom and actualize their talent. The author does not believe that it was a coincidence for the Beatles or Bill Gates to have the ideal circumstances and for them to happen to be at the right environment to be able to log in 10,000 hours of practice or programming. The same as it was also not a coincidence that the Jewish lawyers in New York in the 50s and 60s went about starting and establishing the biggest law firms in the US to this day, but rather it was the sum of ideal and favorable conditions along with intelligence and talent.

The book argues that success is a combination of factors that interact with one another and when the odds are all favorable a story of outlying success is born. Malcolm Gladwell discovers that no single story of success is a story of one individual making it alone.

In conclusion the story of success of outliers teaches us that success is based on the combination of our intelligence, talent and drive, with our educational and cultural background interacting with our external environment. The combination of all these factors can make us or break us.

"The outlier in the end is not an outlier at all; we are all products of our history, community, opportunity and legacy".

The takeaway of reading the book is for each one of us to seek to develop continuously and choosing wisely for a better change to write our own story of success.

Contributed by: Eleni Demosthenous