Outliers Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
Outliers: The Story of Success Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
468,904 ratings, 4.14 average rating, 23,257 reviews
Open Preview
Outliers Quotes Showing 31-60 of 482
“The particular skill that allows you to talk your way out of a murder rap, or convince your professor to move you from the morning to the afternoon section, is what the psychologist Robert Sternberg calls "practical intelligence." To Sternberg, practical intelligence includes things like "knowing what to say to whom, knowing when to say it, and knowing how to say it for for maximum effect.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“The people who stand before kings may look like they did it all by themselves. But in fact they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot. It makes a difference where and when we grew up. The culture we belong to and the legacies passed down by our forebears shape the patterns of our achievements in ways we cannot begin to imagine. It's not enough to ask what successful people are like, in other words. 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
“No one-not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses-ever makes it alone”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“Outliers are those who have been given opportunities—and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“Achievement is talent plus preparation. The problem with this view is that the closer psychologists look at the careers of the gifted, the smaller the role innate talent seems to play and the bigger the role preparation seems to play.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“IQ is a measure, to some degree, of innate ability. But social savvy is knowledge. It's a set of skills that have to be learned. It has to come from somewhere, and the place where we seem to get these kinds of attitudes and skills is from our families.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“The conventional explanation for Jewish success, of course, is that Jews come from a literate, intellectual culture. They are famously "the people of the book." There is surely something to that. But it wasn't just the children of rabbis who went to law school. It was the children of garment workers. And their critical advantage in climbing the professional ladder wasn't the intellectual rigor you get from studying the Talmud. It was the practical intelligence and savvy you get from watching your father sell aprons on Hester Street.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“Cultures of honor tend to take root in highlands and other marginally fertile areas, such as Sicily or the mountainous Basque regions of Spain. If you live on some rocky mountainside, the explanation goes, you can't farm. You probably raise goats or sheep, and the kind of culture that grows up around being a herdsman is very different from the culture that grows up around growing crops. The survival of a farmer depends on the cooperation of others in the community. But a herdsman is off by himself. Farmers also don't have to worry that their livelihood will be stolen in the night, because crops can't easily be stolen unless, of course, a thief wants to go to the trouble of harvesting an entire field on his own. But a herdsman does have to worry. He's under constant threat of ruin through the loss of his animals. So he has to be aggressive: he has to make it clear, through his words and deeds, that he is not weak.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“general intelligence and practical intelligence are "orthogonal": the presence of one doesn't imply the presence of the other.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“[Chris Langan] told me not long ago. "I found if I go to bed with a question on my mind, all I have to do is concentrate on the question before I go to sleep and I virtually always have the answer in the morning. Sometimes I realize what the answer is because I dreamt the answer and I can remember it. Other times I just feel the answer, and I start typing and the answer emerges onto the page.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“The people who stand before kings may look like they did it all by themselves. But in fact they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot. It makes a difference where and when we grew up.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“Lesson Number One: The Importance of Being Jewish”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“The poorer children were, to her mind, often better behaved, less whiny, more creative in making use of their own time, and have a well-developed sense of independence.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“The sense of possibility so necessary for success comes not just from inside us or from our parents. It comes from our time: from the particular opportunities that our place in history presents us with.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“Western communication has what linguists call a "transmitter orientation"--that is, it is considered the responsibility of the speaker to communicate ideas clearly and unambiguously. ...within a Western cultural context, which holds that if there is confusion, it is the fault of the speaker. But Korea, like many Asian countries, is receiver oriented. It is up to the listener to make sense of what is being said.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“Flom had the same experience...He didn't triumph over adversity. Instead, what started out as adversity ended up being an opportunity.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“I realize that we are often wary of making these kinds of broad generalizations about different cultural groups--and with good reason. This is the form that racial and ethnic stereotypes take. We want to believe that we are not prisoners of our ethnic histories. But the simple truth is that if you want to understand ... you have to go back to the past ... it matters where you're from, not just in terms of where you grew up or where your parents grew up, but in terms of where you great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents grew up and even where your great-great-grandparents grew up. That is a strange and powerful fact.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“He was maxed out. He had no
resources left to do anything else. That's what happens
when you're tired. Your decision-making skills erode. You
start missing things—things that you would pick up on
any other day.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“We pretend that success is exclusively a matter of individual merit. But there's nothing in any of the histories we've looked at so far to suggest things are that simple. These are stories, instead, about people who were given a special opportunity to work really hard and seized it, and who happened to come of age at a time when that extraordinary effort was rewarded by the rest of society. Their success was not just of their own making. It was a product of the world in which they grew up.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“Everything we have learned in Outliers says that success follows a predictable course. It is not the brightest who succeed. If it were, Chris Langan would be up there with Einstein. Nor is success simply the sum of the decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf. It is, rather, a gift. Outliers are those who have been given opportunities—and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“the tallest oak in the forest is the tallest not just because it grew from the hardiest acorn; it is the tallest also because no other trees blocked its sunlight, the soil around it was deep and rich, no rabbit chewed through its bark as a sapling, and no lumberjack cut it down before it matured.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“You master mathematics if you are willing to try. That’s what Schoenfeld attempts to teach his students.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“Each of us has his or her own distinct personality. But overlaid on top of that are tendencies and assumptions and reflexes handed down to us by the history of the community we grew up in, and those differences are extraordinarily specific.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“All the outliers we’ve looked at so far were the beneficiaries of some kind of unusual opportunity. Lucky breaks don’t seem like the exception with software billionaires and rock bands and star athletes. They seem like the rule.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“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
“We all know that successful people come from hardy seeds. But do we know enough about the sunlight”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“Living a long life, the conventional wisdom at the time said, depended to a great extent on who we were—that is, our genes. It depended on the decisions we made—on what we chose to eat, and how much we chose to exercise, and how effectively we were treated by the medical system. No one was used to thinking about health in terms of community.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“Working really hard is what successful people do, and the genius of the culture formed in the rice paddies is that hard work gave those in the fields a way to find meaning in the midst of great uncertainty and poverty.”
Malcolm Gladwell , Outliers: The Story of Success
“[Practical intelligence is] practical in nature: that is, it's now knowledge for its own sake. It's knowledge that helps you read situations correctly and get what you want.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
“Successful people don’t do it alone. Where they come from matters. They’re products of particular places and environments.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success