- Compassion International Blog - http://blog.compassion.com -

Outliers Need Opportunity to Succeed

outliers malcolm gladwell Malcom Gladwell’s latest book, Outliers, doesn’t mention Compassion once. But it’s still about what Compassion does: We transform lives by giving children in poverty opportunities to succeed.

Outliers are men and women who do things out of the ordinary. And in the book Gladwell delves into what makes outliers successful.

Conventional wisdom says success comes from drive, skill and talent, which is true, but not by themselves. Drive, skill and talent aren’t worth a dime without opportunity. Success is a team sport.

“When outliers become outliers it is not just because of their own efforts. It’s because of the contributions of lots of different people and lots of different circumstances.” – Malcom Gladwell

Outliers looks at the success of geniuses, business tycoons, rock stars, athletes and software programmers. And the common denominator in all the examples of success Gladwell gives, the foundational bedrock in EVERY SINGLE CASE, is that an opportunity was made available – because of geography, timing, economics, circumstance, etc.

But you shouldn’t have to read Outliers to see that. You can keep reading this blog … because opportunity [3] is an integral part of what Compassion is about.

P.S. Outliers is a fun book to read. It’s quick and engaging. The stories are extremely interesting, and Gladwell is a smooth and persuasive storyteller. I enjoyed this book more than The Tipping Point and Blink, both of which I liked.