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Monday, September 3, 2012

Celebrating Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell (born 9/3/63) has an incredible talent for grasping new ideas in the social sciences and interpreting them so they are understandable, practical and valuable to businesses.

He is the author of three #1 New York Times bestsellers books: "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference," "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking" and "Outliers: The Story of Success."
Here are some of his thoughts and insights to stimulate your grey matter:

“Insight is not a lightbulb that goes off inside our heads. It is a flickering candle that can easily be snuffed out.”

 “Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good.”

“Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning.”

“The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter.”

“Who we are cannot be separated from where we're from.”

“Those three things - autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward - are, most people will agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying.”

“Truly successful decision-making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking.”

“Emotion is contagious.”

 “Once a musician has enough ability to get into a top music school, the thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That's it. And what's more, the people at the very top don't work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.”

 “Our first impressions are generated by our experiences and our environment, which means that we can change our first impressions . . . by changing the experiences that comprise those impressions.”

“Those three things - autonomy, complexity and a connection between effort and reward - are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying. It is not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It's whether our work fulfills us.”

“My earliest memories of my father are of seeing him work at his desk and realizing that he was happy. I did not know it then, but that was one of the most precious gifts a father can give his child.”

“For almost a generation, psychologists around the world have been engaged in a spirited debate over a question that most of us would consider to have been settled years ago. The question is this: is there such a thing as innate talent? The obvious answer is yes. Not every hockey player born in January ends up playing at the professional level. Only some do – the innately talented ones. Achievement is talent plus preparation. The problem with this view is that the closer psychologists look at the careers of the gifted, the smaller the role innate talent seems to play and the bigger role preparation seems to play.”

“If you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires.”
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