The book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell is a thought-provoking work that has managed to generate discussion about people of great importance, such as Einstein and Gates.
Gladwell believes that executives are able to think outside the box in order to successfully carry out their business practices. These "outliers" have a particular tendency towards making decisions they believe will lead them down the success path, which makes them stand out from those who are not as successful. They tend also to accept criticism in different manners than those who are less successful. Outliers are persistent from the beginning of their lives and spend an extensive amount of time with their skills - be it studying or developing them further. Although these skills may be overlooked by others, they are still important to the executives who are able to make different decisions than those that are unsuccessful.
One of the most important aspects of this book is the ability for an executive to be persistent in their goals – even if it is not the main focus of their business at the time. If they believe in what they want to achieve, then they will be very successful. In contrast, executives who are not persistent in their goals and lack a sense of commitment may be less successful than those who are.
The main focus of this book is the fact that there are many different factors to success. "Highly successful people, in the main, come up with a theory about themselves and then they make their lives conform to that theory." This ranges from executives who are not naturally talented but have worked hard at their skills and those who have been born into wealthy families. Although things like these may contribute to being successful, it is important for people not to overanalyze and concentrate on one particular aspect which may distract from other aspects of success.
In this book, Gladwell makes the point that there are many different habits and skills that can make someone successful. The main focus of this book is instead the idea of "exceptionality" which means "persistence over time", or "doing something well at a very young age".
Outliers is often used as a text for those studying for their MSc programmes in Human Resource Management at Coventry University, Northumbria University and University College London.
This book has received a good response on both the language and the symbolism used. Its main focus of "exceptionality" is often criticized for its lack of definition as well as not being an accurate term. It is hard to find clear evidence backing up whether or not something is "exceptionally talented" or not due to the way that "high school dropout rates" are defined. The flow of ideas within the chapters is evident by his use of sub-headings to reinforce that a particular idea follows a set pattern.
In conclusion, I personally, I did resonate with Malcolm Gladwell's analysis of outliers and their path to success. However, I did not particularly share his take on the premise that individuals cannot through force of habituation, become a better version of themselves and alter the course of their lives. For example in the first chapter, Gladwell claims that successful hockey players are on average born within certain months out of the year; This is in part because of their physiological composition which makes them "more developed" then their peers. However having played hockey myself I can assure the success of a player is in direct connection to the work they would do on and off the ice, and not because they were 4 months older than anyone else on the team. Sidney Crosby was born outside of these birth months but became exceptionally talented through repetition and determination, not because of his birth month. Hence, I like the book for its idealistic approach to success and gave a pertinent account of what would perhaps be a good indicator of future success, however it fails at recognizing the power of the individual to control their situation regardless of their circumstances.
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