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Malcolm Gladwell quotes (showing 1-30 of 298)

“Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“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.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
“We have, as human beings, a storytelling problem. We're a bit too quick to come up with explanations for things we don't really have an explanation for.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
“Who we are cannot be separated from where we're from.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“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.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“It is those who are successful, in other words, who are most likely to be given the kinds of special opportunities that lead to further success. It’s the rich who get the biggest tax breaks. It’s the best students who get the best teaching and most attention. And it’s the biggest nine- and ten-year-olds who get the most coaching and practice. Success is the result of what sociologists like to call “accumulative advantage.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”
Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
“Good writing does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else's head.”
Malcolm Gladwell, What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures
“..... it would be interesting to find out what goes on in that moment when someone looks at you and draws all sorts of conclusions.”
Malcolm Gladwell
“Insight is not a lightbulb that goes off inside our heads. It is a flickering candle that can easily be snuffed out.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
“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.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“It's not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It's whether or not our work fulfills us. Being a teacher is meaningful.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“...If you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires. (151)”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“Truly successful decision-making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking.”
Malcolm Gladwell
“The lesson here is very simple. But it is striking how often it is overlooked. We are so caught in the myths of the best and the brightest and the self-made that we think outliers spring naturally from the earth. We look at the young Bill Gates and marvel that our world allowed that thirteen-year-old to become a fabulously successful entrepreneur. But that's the wrong lesson. Our world only allowed one thirteen-year-old unlimited access to a time sharing terminal in 1968. If a million teenagers had been given the same opportunity, how many more Microsofts would we have today?”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“In the act of tearing something apart, you lose its meaning.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
“No one who can rise before dawn three hundred sixty days a year fails to make his family rich.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“To be someone's best friend requires a minimum investment of time. More than that, though, it takes emotional energy. Caring about someone deeply is exhausting.”
Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
“Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning.”
Malcolm Gladwell
“our world requires that decisions be sourced and footnoted, and if we say how we feel, we must also be prepared to elaborate on why we feel that way...We need to respect the fact that it is possible to know without knowing why we know and accept that - sometimes - we're better off that way.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
“Achievement is talent plus preparation”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“I want to convince you that these kinds of personal explanations of success don't work. People don't rise from nothing....It is only by asking where they are from that we can unravel the logic behind who succeeds and who doesn't.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“Cultural legacies are powerful forces. They have deep roots and long lives. They persist, generation after generation, virtually intact, even as the economic and social and demographic conditions that spawned them have vanished, and they play such a role in directing attitudes and behavior that we cannot make sense of our world without them.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“We overlook just how large a role we all play--and by 'we' I mean society--in determining who makes it and who doesn't.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“Superstar lawyers and math whizzes and software entrepreneurs appear at first blush to lie outside ordinary experience. But they don't. They are products of history and community, of opportunity and legacy. Their success is not exceptional or mysterious. It is grounded in a web of advantages and inheritances, some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky - but all critical to making them who they are. The outlier, in the end, is not an outlier at all.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“We live in a world that assumes that the quality of a decision is directly related to the time and effort that went into making it...We believe that we are always better off gathering as much information as possible an depending as much time as possible in deliberation. We really only trust conscious decision making. But there are moments, particularly in times of stress, when haste does not make waste, when our snap judgments and first impressions can offer a much better means of making sense of the world. The first task of Blink is to convince you of a simple fact: decisions made very quickly can be every bit as good as decisions made cautiously and deliberately.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
“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.”
Malcolm Gladwell
“To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages today that determine success--the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history--with a society that provides opportunities for all.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success

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The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference The Tipping Point
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Outliers: The Story of Success Outliers
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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking Blink
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