“Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell



What the three of us who discussed “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell discovered the most from this book was reflection. Gladwell has many stories in an engaging and fast read. The stories relate to why the people at the top of a situation seem to be there. One comment at the book discussion was that it made the speaker think about his own breaks and how he ended up in Kalamazoo (Michigan).

The definition of outlier, a noun, is “Something that is situated away from or classed differently from a main or related body.” It is also “A statistical observation that is markedly different in value from the others of the sample.”

Without giving everything away, here are some of the notes I made, and some may have been paraphrased:

“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” (p42)

“Practical intelligence – knowing how to do something without necessarily knowing why you know it or being able to explain it. It has to be learned, and usually comes from family.” (p101)

“autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward are the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying. Work that fulfills those three criteria is meaningful.“(p149-50)

“Lesson: If you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires.” (p151)

Probably one of the most important, especially for flying in airplanes: “who we are cannot be separated from where we’re from – and when we ignore that fact, planes crash.” (p221)

Want to know why Asians are usually better at math? There’s a whole chapter on it. Relating to that idea: “Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for 22 minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after 30 seconds.” (p246)

Have you already read the book? Please click the picture below and comment on your thoughts on these discussion questions:

Outlier discussion questions image



Stacy (a.k.a. “The Book Lady”)

Stacy with Outliers Book



Filed under 2014

4 responses to ““Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell

  1. Pingback: “Focus” by Daniel Goleman | Kalamazoo Business Book Club (KBBC)

  2. Pingback: The Tipping Point | Kalamazoo Business Book Club (KBBC)

  3. Pingback: Summer 2014 Reading Choices | Kalamazoo Business Book Club (KBBC)

  4. Pingback: Book Club Turns Two | Kalamazoo Business Book Club (KBBC)

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