In a recent Globe and Mail article, Sabitry Ghoshi interviewed Malcolm Gladwell about his latest book, Outliers, The Story of Success. Gladwell clearly states that “success” is narrowly defined in his book as he had no interest in happiness, but in the “occupational success in the work that we do”, saying, “This book is squarely about what happens when you go to work in the morning”.
Malcolm Gladwell says it requires at least 10,000 hours to become an expert on anything and attributes his success as a writer and reporter to his 10 years with The Washington Post. This experience, “deliberate practice”, as he refers to it, is the key to becoming an expert, or a “success” in a profession. He credits a practical side not a high IQ to high achievers and most importantly, opportunity. Even your date of birth can result in a missed opportunity!
Becoming successful in your profession is related to some common elements such as, the opportunity to work harder than your peers, to see things that others can’t see and a good fit between your cultural legacy and what you chose to explore, according to Malcolm Gladwell. But he also says, ” much of it is outside of our control”.