(Please don’t miss my story at the end of this article on how the principles in this article work together.)
Malcolm Gladwell is speaking at a forum in New York City soon. The promotion describes him thusly:
The Canadian-born ‘New Yorker’ staff writer Malcolm Gladwell is the author of such best-selling books as “The Tipping Point,” “Blink,” “Outliers,” and “What the Dog Saw.” Gladwell is known for taking a unique perspective on seemingly well understood topics and generating new patterns of thought about them. This provocative thinker joins Luminato to share his latest brainstorm.
Do you ever read a sentence and a day later, it’s still with you, hounding your steps, disturbing your sleep, probing your spirit? That’s what that description of what Gladwell does did to me.
He takes seemingly well understood topics and generates new patterns of thought about them.
Anyone who can do that–who can show us a different perspective on something we thought we knew well and then can draw fascinating conclusions from it–that is someone I want to know.
You probably already know this writer. Many of my friends cannot wait for Gladwell’s latest books and eagerly snap them up as they hit the bookstores. There’s something about his unique way of looking at things that produces “aha!” moments and leaves readers gasping, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
In “The Tipping Point,” Gladwell wrote about how little things can make a big difference. What turns an unusual clothing item into a hot new fashion trend? What are the forces at work to cause strange shoes to go from being oddities worn only by oddballs one day to (ahem) Birkenstocks the next?
Gladwell tries to find the precise act when that change occurs. He calls that moment the tipping point.
In “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking,” Gladwell focuses on intuition. Far from being a glorified hunch, he says intuition is the result of long hours of work and searching and concentration. His examples are worth the price of the book.
“Outliers” is his latest hot book. Subtitle: “The Story of Success.” Gladwell examines achievers for what they have in common. He says we should not ask “what are these achievers like?” but “where are they from?” That is, what went into making them different from the rest of us? He finds commonalities for them.
Okay, pastor. Malcolm Gladwell is your new role model from now on. Go forth and do with your ministry what he does with the mundane things of everyday life.