Why do some people succeed and others do not? Most of the time, we think that those who succeed have worked harder and longer than everyone else – they have passion and drive and let no obstacle stand in their way. But is that the truth? Is there more involved in success than we think?
Malcolm Gladwell is convinced that there is a lot more than hard work and drive involved in success. His book Outliers is subtitled The Story of Success. Gladwell shows that successful people have built-in advantages (such as being born early in the year or being born in a certain year rather than three years later) that have to be considered. Hard work and drive are part of the equation, no doubt about it, but other factors are involved, too.
Like all of Gladwell’s books, Outliers is put together in a series of stories, or case-studies, that all make the same basic point. He highlights junior hockey teams, Bill Gates, Korean airline pilots, two extended families in rural Kentucky, and a number of others.
After reading Outliers, I don’t look at success in the same way.