June 2010: The Outliers

Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell, 2008.

Wow, this book really opens your eyes to what makes highly successful people so… successful! I have read it over and over because it is absolutely fascinating.  We usually think of highly successful people having genetics and lots of luck but actually the true story is very different – much more complex and interesting than it first looks. Based on extensive research, Gladwell exposes some fascinating commonalities between extremely successful people including Silicon Valley billionaires, professional ice hockey players, New York lawyers, the Beatles and the Asians at math.  The chapter on why commercial airlines crashes occurred is enough to convince you to never fly again!

But my takeaway is Gladwell’s research undeniably confirms that it’s the opportunities that young people are exposed to that make all the difference in the world.  It’s their family, their community, their culture and even their birthplace and birthdates that initially open doors for them.  And then it is their willingness to seize those opportunities and with dedication, support and more doors opening that true success is achieved.  It inspires me to double my efforts to open more of those doors for both our young people in Northern Nevada but also adults in our community.

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