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How to be an Outlier??? December 7, 2009

Posted by Pau Min Wong in [Books] Leadership & Change.
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Malcolm Gladwell brings up yet another set of interesting observations through his book Outliers. The central idea revolves around the hidden and unexpected forces that propelled successful people to their fame and wealth. In essence, Malcolm reasoned that it is the intersection of opportunity and persistence that created these extraordinary capabilities. These hidden forces tend to influence success or failure outcomes much more than we would otherwise imagine. It may seem unnerving that we have so little control over our destiny.

However, reading through the book, it became clear that the key takeaway is for us to be aware of and understand the hidden influences and various factors that may provide an edge to us. These hidden influences may come about from sheer luck, such as being in the right place at the right time, or they may come about from social structures that society put in place. The astounding fact is that even a small advantage provided by an opportunity can accumulate over time and become a drastic increment in capability that differentiates the successful from the ordinary.

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