The novel Outliers, aims to investigate the very thing we want for our family, our students, and ourselves. For most of our lives we have believed that with hard work, anyone can achieve success. That had to be the reason that poor immigrants like Andrew Carnegie and college dropouts like Bill Gates achieved unimaginable wealth. Most of us were taught that working harder than anyone else would lead to ultimate success.
While the author, Malcolm Gladwell, does not dispute that hard work in a necessary component, we learn that many factors, lucky breaks, and some coincidences all occur in making high achievers into true outliers. We also learn that many of the richest, most famous, and most successful people in history are often linked by certain factors that can be traced back to the reason for their successes. The novel is broken down into two sections detailing traits and components that helped pave the way for the ultra-successful. On the following pages I will discuss the factors that Gladwell presented, comment on them, and discuss how they apply to us as burgeoning school administrators.
Part One: Opportunity
With the section titled “Opportunity,” Gladwell breaks the path to success into three different sub-groups each with a catchy subtitle. For the purpose of this abstract, I will call them birth date, the 10,000 hour rule, and high IQ.
The first factor, which Gladwell delves into, is the birth date of his outliers. Not only the year that someone is born, but also the month and day in which they are born. Take, for instance, the example of junior hockey players in Canada. Most of the hockey players on the best traveling team in all of Canada had birthdays in the first three months of the year. This seemed like an unbelievable coincidence, until we explore further. Gladwell interviewed people connected with the selection for these teams and it turned out the participants of a certain level had to be born after the... [continues]
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