Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm
Gladwell
1963

Canadian Journalist, Author and Speaker

Author Quotes

Instinct is the gift of experience. The first question you have to ask yourself is, 'On what basis am I making a judgment?'... If you have no experience, then your instincts aren't any good.

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.

People are in one of two states in a relationship, Gottman went on. The first is what I call positive sentiment override, where positive emotion overrides irritability. It?s like a buffer. Their spouse will do something bad, and they?ll say, ?Oh, he?s just in a crummy mood.? Or they can be in negative sentiment override, so that even a relatively neutral thing that a partner says gets perceived as negative.

Taleb likes to invoke Popper: 'No amount of observations of white swans can allow the inference that all swans are white, but the observation of a single black swan is sufficient to refute that conclusion.

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?

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.

We cling to the idea that success is a simple function of individual merit and that the world in which we all grow up and the rules we choose to write as a society don't matter at all.

Words belong to the person who wrote them

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.

Mediocre people find their way into positions of authority...because when it comes to even the most important positions, our selection decisions are a good deal less rational than we think.

People weren't getting their jobs through their friends. They were getting them through their acquaintances. Why is this? Granovetter argues that it is because when it comes to finding out about new jobs -- or, for that matter, new information, or new ideas -- "weak ties" are always more important than strong ties. Your friends, after all, occupy the same world that you do. They might work with you, or live near you, and go to the same same churches, schools, or parties. How much, then, would they know that you wouldn't know? Your acquaintances, on the other hand, by definition occupy a very different world than you. They are much more likely to know something that you don't. To capture this apparent paradox, Granovetter coined a marvelous phrase: the strength of weak ties. Acquaintances, in short, represent a source of social power, and the more acquaintances you have the more powerful you are.

Testers for 7-Up consistently found consumers would report more lemon flavor in their product if they added 15% more yellow coloring TO THE PACKAGE.

The most important weapon is they had been through this before.

There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis.

We need to be clear when we venerate entrepreneurs what we are venerating. They are not moral leaders. If they were moral leaders, they wouldn't be great businessmen.

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.

It is not possible to staff a large company without short people. There simply aren't enough tall people to go around.

Mimicry, they argue, is also one of the means by which we infect each other with our emotions. In other words, if I smile and you see me and smile in response?even a micro-smile that takes no more than several milliseconds?it?s not just you imitating or empathizing with me. It may also be a way that I can pass on my happiness to you.

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.

That fundamentally undermines your ability to access the best part of your instincts. So my advice to those people would be stop thinking and introspecting so much and do a little more acting.

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.

There is a simple way to package information that, under the right circumstances, can make it irresistible. All you have to do is find it.

We need to look at the subtle, the hidden, and the unspoken.

You can learn as much - or more - from one glance at a private space as you can from hours of exposure to a public face.

It is quite possible for people who have never met us and who have spent only twenty minutes thinking about us to come to a better understanding of who we are than people who have known us for years.

Author Picture
First Name
Malcolm
Last Name
Gladwell
Birth Date
1963
Bio

Canadian Journalist, Author and Speaker