I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” – and it was a good read. Very valuable. Major takeaways are:
- Initial conditions matter. Think Chaos Theory. Complex systems that evolve over time (which humans are, and groups of humans are) can be very sensitive to initial conditions. For humans, influential initial conditions can be other people, key training, early advantages, access to tools and resources, etc.
- Practice matters. 10,000 hours seems to be the magic “inflection point” that results in “genius.”
- Culture matters. What’s acceptable in your culture can influence your thinking and behavior in major ways.
My action steps after reading this book:
- Pay more attention to the first experiences that customers, partners, and team members have with our business, our team members, and our products. Better induction processes, better training, and better relationship-building leads to bigger success.
- Teach and coach others to practice their craft more often, and for longer. Essentially all of the key successes in my life came after YEARS of focused practice. Encourage practice consistently with others.
- Work on our business’ culture. It just happens that I interviewed Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos) a few days ago, and most of his focus is on their company culture. This book helped me understand more of the nuances of the importance of aligning and consciously creating culture.
Part of my personal approach to life and success over the past several years is to surround myself with people that “are” what I want to become, and it will happen almost automatically. This book helped me to realize just how important it is to “take control” of your “influences” if you want to direct your own success.
Overall, it’s a good book. Read it:
Outliers: The Story of Success