Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Date published: 2011
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
This book, as its title suggests, is all about outliers; in this case, the author is referring to the people in society that stand out because of some remarkable accomplishment or quality that sets them apart. You probably already know some of Malcolm Gladwell’s subjects, such as Bill Gates and The Beatles, but he also brings some lesser-known “outliers” to the reader’s attention who have equally impressive stories.
Although I originally had to read this book for my Organizational Behavior class here at BC, my entire class loved it, and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning more about understanding how we can come to achieve success, and how we have gotten to where we are today.
After reading the novel, my professor asked us all to ask ourselves who has helped us reach the success we have achieved so far in our lives. Once we had written down who those people were, he suggested that we all write them a letter to thank them, to show our appreciation for their important roles in our lives.
In the end, that is the take-away from Gladwell’s novel: we must all recognize that people do not rise to success purely by their own efforts and actions. While individual motivation and skill play a large role in outstanding success stories, Gladwell points out time and time again that the most significant factor in success stories is the external environment, circumstances, and support that a person receives along the way.
Review by Kristie Dickinson, CSOM '14