This week I’ve read two interesting pieces about one topic from two very successful people, namely the New York bestseller author Malcolm Gladwell and marketing guru Seth Godin.They talked about something that interests me greatly: what is it that makes people stand out and be successful?
First, let’s talk about Malcolm Gladwell (writer of one of my favourite books called Blink). His new book Outliers, which will be released November 18th, is a book about success. “It starts with a very simple question: what is the difference between those who do something special with their lives and everyone else?” According to Social Capital Blog, “Gladwell thinks success in the 21st century is going to be less about sheer intelligence and more about collaboration and hard work to get to the level of mastery in a topic (which he says typically takes 10,000 hours)”.
Seth Godin discusses the relationship between effort and success on his blog. He states the following: “Delete the outliers–the people who are hit by a bus or win the lottery, the people who luck out in a big way, and we’re left with everyone else. And for everyone else, effort is directly related to success.” He continues with statements that I couldn´t agree more with:
Effort takes many forms. Showing up, certainly. Knowing stuff (being smart might be luck of the draw, but knowing stuff is the result of effort). Being kind when it’s more fun not to. Paying forward when there’s no hope of tangible reward. Doing the right thing.
Although Seth and Malcolm discuss the topic from a different perspective, they come to a similar conclusion: reaching success is merely hard work. Although this can be hopeful for some people (success is in reach for all of us), it also implies that the less successful just haven´t worked hard enough. That one is a tougher cookie than just blaming it on others or circumstances. For the latter, just don´t read Malcolm Gladwell´s new book :-)