Let me first confess, I’m a Malcolm Gladwell groupie. I find his work interesting, thought-provoking and a joy to read. His ability to deconstruct complexities in a story like fashion keeps me glued to the pages.
That being said I recently found myself rereading Outliers which he published in 2008. It’s an enthralling journey reshaping the way we think about success. It also introduces the 10,000 hour rule! YES a significant portion of success as we understand it is sheer hard work, intelligence, attitude and appetite but we tend to think very narrowly about it. We tend to discount the impact of our heritage, culture or even our birth year amongst other factors have on the successes we have achieved.
Success is very rarely is attained through a singular event, in most instances it’s the incremental environmental factors and decisions at the margin which over time add up to the major successes we accomplish. Looking at my own life, had I not been born in 1979 I would not have been able to complete both junior and high school in a model C school which allowed non-white students to attend after the end of Apartheid. This opportunity to learn in a different environment I do believe contributed significantly to my thinking about the world and made my succesful introduction into a white dominated corporate South Africa easier.
When you have a chance get the book or audio version and start building your collection of Gladwell books!