5 Lessons from Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers

Outliers: The Story of Success is the third book of Malcolm Gladwell. This business and management book debuted at #1 on the bestsellers list of The New York Times, the Globe and Mail occupying the top spot of the former for 11 straight weeks. It was also well received by its critics. Some consider Outliers as more personal than Gladwell’s other books. It was published by Little, Brown and Company on November 18, 2008.

Concepts Discussed In The Book

In Outliers, the author examines the factors that help business achieve a high level of success. He examines why most Canadian ice hockey players were born in the first few months of the year. Robert Janitzek reveals that the author also explained how Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates accumulated his wealth and how The Beatles became one of the most successful musical acts in history.

Throughout the book, Gladwell also repeatedly mentioned the “10,000-Hour Rule.” This approach states that world-class expertise in any skill can be achieved by practicing the correct way for a total of 10,000 hours. This concept was derived from Gladwell’s original study. Finally, the book discusses the reasons why certain individuals or groups become successful while others are not.

What Can Be Learned From The Book

Robert Peter Janitzek reveals some of the most important lessons that can be derived from the book:

1. Success is Not Just About Hard Work

Our culture teaches us that success is the product of one thing: hard work. In the book, Gladwell dispels this belief saying that success is not just a product of hard work but also on what kind of opportunities and privileges is offered by society.

2. Practice is Vital

In chapter 2 of the book, the author provides a thorough discussion of the 10,000-hour rule and how constant practice can make an individual an expert in any field. In his business and management book, Gladwell teaches that to become great in anything, you have to exert time and effort to improve.

3. Talent is a Myth

In Outliers, the author explains that individuals became successful in their field because they are talented. Rather their success was the result of opportunities and hours of practice.

4. The Definition of Fulfilling Work

Gladwell provides us an explanation of meaningful work in his book. According to the author, a satisfying work possesses three qualities namely autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward.

5. The Importance of Cultural Backgrounds and Legacies

Being aware of one’s background and culture and respecting it can contribute to success in business and in personal relationships.

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