Thursday, 26 March 2009

Fascinating Nonfiction

Finished March 25
Outliers: the story of success by Malcolm Gladwell, read by the author
This is an absolutely engrossing book about why people are successful. Looking at successful people in sports and business situations, Gladwell looks beyond the assumptions about success being a result of intelligence and ambition and digs deeper into what really led to success. Outliers are those whose achievements fall outside the norm, outside the bell curve of the general population.
In many cases of sports success it comes down to birthdate and cut-off dates for enrollments. Those who were older than than peers ended up being shunted at a young age into a path that gave them more and better opportunties. In cases like Asians being better at math, it leads backward to cultural expectations and values.
For Silicon Valley billionaires, it mattered what year you were born and where you lived, and in airline pilots where you were born can make a big difference in your success.
The lessons taken from this book provide insight into better utilizing people's potential and better use of the human resources available to us.
As usual, Gladwell never disappoints when providing new ideas and views.

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